Charley Lincicum’s (’00 MS OIT) turning point came after 47 years as an engineer in and around manufacturing. Finally pushing himself away from the computer and turning to the outdoors, he now finds himself an Essex County Greenbelt volunteer nature guide, and a Danvers Rail Trial committee chair.
How did you become involved with Mass Audubon?
I’ve always been an outdoor person away from work—biking, kayaking, hiking, fishing. I’ve been a member of the Audubon Society since 1985 but never had much time to become a nature guide, though I have taken part in bird counts and census.
Tell us about your new role.
I teach classes, work special events throughout the year, and on Sundays I guide people through the sanctuary. I develop the classes I teach, and create the visual aids required.
What’s WPI’s role in all this?
I earned my master’s degree in operations and information technology back in 2000. WPI taught me how to teach and train people, as well as understand the human factor of work. This came in handy all through my career, but more now in my nature guide function.
What was your Turning Point?
That came at my last job (MKS Instruments) when I saw people getting let go because business was off and the politics of upper management put them in a bad position. When I looked at this, and saw how unhappy it made my wife—coupled with health issues (I had thyroid cancer and I’m currently fighting RA)—it was time to do what I wanted to do rather than what I needed to do.
What’s the coolest thing you’ve seen in the Ipswich sanctuary?
One of my best experiences was when I was a guide looking for owls. We found two species of owls but we also came across three beavers. This may not seem a big deal, but it was so exciting, it took hours to calm down afterward.