On March 1st my friend Maegan Spindler should have been celebrating her 27th birthday.  Tragically, she was killed on July 8th, 2013, when a drunk driver hit her and her supervisor in a parking lot in Pickstown, SD. Maegan and her team were researching the recovery of the endangered Pallid Sturgeon in the Missouri River. Together with Maegan’s family and her many friends, I am celebrating her life and her work through a new education scholarship.

Maegan did so many of her outdoor “firsts” in the Adirondacks.  She went camping, hiking, mountain climbing,  fishing, canoeing and snowshoeing for the first time in the Adirondacks.   She also spent a summer at the Cranberry Lake Biological Station while she was working on her B.S. degree in Wildlife Science at the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry.  Maegan had her first paid field biology job in the Adirondacks.

Maegan had a strong passion for the natural world that was reflected in her enthusiasm for many outdoor recreational activities and for natural resource protection.  She not only loved hiking and camping but was also an accomplished fly fisherman and was learning the intricacies of hunting.  The Adirondacks were where she got her start as a conservationist. It seems fitting to continue to help inspire the next generation of stewards in her memory here in the Adirondacks.

Adirondack Mountain Club’s Maegan E. Spindler Education Scholarship was established this year with donations from Maegan’s family members and friends to continue her legacy by sharing her love of the natural world with others.  This scholarship will sponsor a high school and/or college student to participate in one of ADK’s education programs: backpacking courses, canoe trips, aquatic stewardship programs, skills workshops, first aid courses, and more.   My hope is that this scholarship will help ignite the same passion for the outdoors that burned so brightly in Maegan.

You can apply for Maegan’s Scholarship here. You can also check out ADK’s other scholarship opportunities here.  There is still an opportunity to donate to the scholarship which is a tax deductible contribution.  Please specify that this is for the Maegan E. Spindler Education Scholarship.

Seth Jones