stephen eren

Position: Next Generation Advisory Council Member

Stephen, 26, is a native of Durham, NC and a 2011 graduate of Virginia Tech, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in Conservation and Recreation Management and minored in Forestry. He also earned the rank of Eagle Scout with Boy Scouts of America.  During his college summers, he worked for the US Forest Service as a Wilderness Ranger intern in the Sierra National Forest. After graduation, he worked as a Backcountry Ranger in TN and NC with the Southern Appalachian Wilderness Stewards (SAWS).  Stephen alternated summers in the mountains with winters in the frozen North, working as a guide and dog handler at sled dog kennels in Maine, Vermont and the Upper Peninsula area of Michigan. In 2014, Stephen fulfilled his long-time and well-researched dream of hiking the entire Appalachian Trail. As Stephen and any “thru hiker” will tell you, the trail is a magical place to experience the wilderness and community with people who genuinely love the outdoors. Most recently he completed a circumnavigation of the Delmarva Peninsula with non-profit Upstream Alliance.

Today, Stephen lives in Durham with his two retired sled dogs Max and Panda. He also owns a small business called Deep South Mountaineering, which specializes in ultra-light hammocks and other colorful gear for hikers.