Meet Nate Ostdiek!

Nate has been serving with Conservation Nebraska’s AmeriCorps Common Ground Program since September 2022. He loves reading, hiking, camping, gardening, giving his partner’s dog, Stella, belly rubs, and is a humongous fan of Star Wars. Nate graduated from Westside High School in May 2021 and is currently pursuing a degree in Political Science at the University of Nebraska-Omaha. His degree also includes minors in sustainability, history, and religion.

Nate’s initial exposure to the outdoors was in elementary school where he joined the local Cub Scout pack which planted the seeds for a deep love for nature. These seeds were then watered and sprouted during the COVID-19 pandemic, when hikes became the most attractive way to stay safe and hang out with friends. 

Since starting at UNO, Nate has become involved in activities on campus including Student Government, Mindfulness Club, and the Maverick Food Pantry Community Garden. He has enjoyed his time at UNO and appreciates how all of his interests, activities, and schoolwork flow together making it difficult to separate work from play. This playful attitude is fundamental to the way Nate relates to nature, he believes that the best way to relate to other organisms is to show that you mean no harm and understand the situation that they’re in. 

Nate plans to pursue a career in public policy, intelligence analysis, or law. His passion is trying to understand how humans interact with their environment from a political, psychological, and spiritual point of view, then trying to find ways to heal that connection. 

Nate has been a UNO liaison connecting different groups on campus and trying to find common ground. He has assisted the UNO Office of Sustainability with its plans to expand composting and sits on the President’s Sustainability Council and leads the healthy food subcommittee on the Chancellors’ Sustainability Committee. 

While not in meetings with community partners, Nate has been interviewing professionals who have interesting perspectives on the natural world and making that information accessible to the public. Nate hopes to see a world where America (and the world) understands just how interconnected and dependent we really are on our environment.