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Alumni Johnson and Schneider Leave No Trace

Alan Flurry

The UGA Graduate School magazine profiles alumni Jessie Johnson, who received an MA in Sociology (2005) and Matthew Schneider, who earned a Ph.D. in Philosophy (2010), intrepid adventurers who share a mindful approach to living:

Johnson and Schneider have no permanent address, no “home” per se, but live on the road and camp in public campgrounds or sometimes on private land. They are one of four pairs of Leave No Trace professional trainers who travel the nation promoting the Leave No Trace precepts and advocating for best outdoor practices. In the course of 11 months annually spent on the road, their work demands presenting to a variety of groups, leading communications and training workshops while crisscrossing the nation.

As of the beginning of 2019, the couple has logged 65,000 miles and spent the past two years camping and promoting ideas that educate and conserve natural resources. “Working closely with all federal land management agencies, along with state and municipal agencies,” says Johnson. “We’ve personally worked with the Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Forest Service, US Fish and Wildlife, National Parks, multiple cities’ park and rec, and lots of state parks.”

They insist it is well worth it. Their ideas about advocacy and adopting a simpler way of life have validated their chosen lifestyle, especially given the public’s frequent lack of outdoor education.

Great feature on an inspiring pair of alumni leaders who are showing the way as they chart their own path.

Image: Leave No Trace backpack tag identifying registered Appalachian Trail Thru-Hikers.

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