It’s been a busy summer for Zach Vise. The recent UMaine graduate spent this summer working two jobs in the Boothbay region. He worked 40 hours per week as Boothbay Region Water District’s summer intern and at Lobsterman’s Wharf.
The 2015 Boothbay Region High School graduate majored in parks, recreation with forestry at UMaine and minored in business administration. He planned on working two jobs this summer to begin paying off college bills and sock a little money away for next spring. Vise will attempt a lifelong dream of walking the Appalachian Trail. He will begin at Springer Mountain and end at Baxter State Park in Millinocket.
“It’s something I’ve always wanted to do. We had a family camp near Baxter State Park. So I’m working at ski resort in Utah this winter to make a little money, and hopefully, I will be walking the Appalachian Trail this spring,” Vise said. He plans on beginning the trek walking 10 miles per day and building up to 20.
The trek is part of Vise’s gap year he’s taking between graduation and joining the workforce full time. He would like to work in the conservation field or the forest service. “That’s what I’d like to do and probably work somewhere out west. That’s the plan.”
In the meantime, his college studies have aided his BRWD internship. This summer, Vise assisted Watershed Protection Manager Sue Mello with testing water at Knickerbocker and Little Knickerbocker lakes and Adams Pond. He also cleaned culverts and pulled weeds from behind the district’s office. “The first month I must’ve pulled a ton of honey suckle,” he said.
Vise also assisted in checking the ponds for invasive species. He learned how to identify both native and invasive species so he could document each. “I used what I learned in college, but I also learned a lot. I really enjoyed working for the water district,” Vise said.
He began his summer job on June 2 and his last day is Sept. 13. Vise’s performance also left a nice impression on the boss. “He’s great,” said District Manager Jon Ziegra. “Zach is smart and a hard worker. He did a good job for us, and we were very lucky to have him.”
Vise will continue working the season at his other summer job, before hitting the slopes in the Utah mountains, and later hitting the trails next spring covering the 1,374-mile trek from Georgia to Maine.