Student develops Ice Age Trail segment during Cornell Fellowship

On paper, Adam Majeski’s Cornell Fellowship in Geology Education was an opportunity to help open a new, 1.5-mile section of Ice Age Trail across a Wisconsin property. What he gained, though, were lessons in responsibility, self-direction, communication, and project coordination.

Adam Majeski '05 helped develop a 1.5-mile section of Wisconsin's Ice Age Trail during a two-month Cornell Fellowship.

“Going into the project I expected specific instructions on what I was to do and how it was to be done,” says Majeski ’05. “Instead, I was given an outline of the goals and allowed a large range of freedom in completing them.”

Majeski’s primary task was to develop interpretive signage for the new trail. He began by surveying the area in detail, noting natural features of interests and thinking carefully about vantage points. He then researched the area’s geology, flora, and history as a basis for writing text.

But he says the larger task was to coordinate resources. He found himself working closely with the landowners, managing a team of high school workers, consulting local naturalists and trail experts, and learning the subtleties of signage design and print publishing.  Perhaps most importantly, he recruited a person to bring his nearly completed designs to fruition.

Majeski is now a graduate student in geology at Utah State University.  He says his fellowship and his research experiences at Cornell have aided him greatly.

“Both experiences reinforced analytical thinking, problem definition and solution, technical writing, project/self management, and working with others,” he says. “It has become clear to me it is exactly these skills that schools and employers are looking for.”