My experience at the Wilderness Management Seminar and WILD9, Carla Mora-Trejos, Clemson University Graduate Student

I visited wilderness in my home country, and in one of these places I found a reason to live, it showed me where I am supposed to go. Unfortunately, after having an 8 to 5 job and then working on graduate school I had forgotten this place and the main reason why I started to study this in the first place. Going back to this place in my heart with other people, helped me make sense of wilderness, I knew it before hand, but I didn’t know I knew it until at the seminar we had the chance to discuss and work on it together.

Vance (Martin, President of The WILD Foundation) said in the seminar, that we are building communities. I think that the community we built in the seminar and the thorough discussions and feelings we could share made me grow up in a very special way. I learned so much from the other participants and from me; it was worth all the effort WILD9 organizers made. I am so grateful. The participants, we have kept in touch and I am sure that big things can come out of this. In terms of working together for conservation and in terms of having someone out there that understands wilderness as you do, and can give you emotional support for the struggles that working for conservation bring.

I went to WILD9 with the theme for my PhD ready and my proposal already started. After the seminar and congress, I decided to change my theme for dissertation to be able to include wild areas in the research. The conference gave me a whole new perspective of wilderness, different from the very personal, emotional, and spiritual place that was for me. Many people from the seminar and the conference inspired me to keep going with love, hope, and new strengths. I don’t think I have the right words to explain all that came out of this seminar. Thank you, for getting me back on track!!!

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