Cole Hughes

Hometown: Williamstown, Massachusetts
College: St. Lawrence University

As a student, I participated in four Overland trips — Cape Cod & the Islands, Blue Ridge Explorer, Nova Scotia & Acadia, and Southwest Service.

Originally from Williamstown, Massachusetts, I graduated from St. Lawrence University in 2019 with a double major in environmental studies and biology. I am an amateur mycologist, someone who studies fungi; a passionate fly-fisherman; and a naturalist. During my junior fall, I studied abroad at the University of Otago in Dunedin, New Zealand, studying the island’s history and wildlife. Throughout my senior year, I sought to apply new technologies to the field of ecology, conducting aerial vegetation surveys of local conifer stands using a drone. In my free time, I loved exploring the nearby Adirondacks.

As a student, I loved my Overland summers, and in 2019, I led Mountains & Sea Adventure. I enjoyed sharing Overland’s fun traditions and the joy of outdoor exploration with new Overland students. One of my highs from the summer came on the challenge day of my first trip. I hiked in the back of the group and encouraged the whole team, but in particular, one student throughout the hike. As we approached the summit, we saw the other students far ahead of us, and it felt like this student’s confidence was waning. With a little coaching and positive thinking, I encouraged her to keep going. We fought through the fatigue together, and eventually we made it to the top where the rest of the group was cheering for her. It was such a rewarding feeling to have made it to the top with her; I hope she remembers it for as long as I will.