It has been about 3 months since I began my position as a Special Uses Resource Assistant in the Forest Service. There is not a day that I don’t learn something new, whether it is our special uses programming, outfitter relations, or training. Recently, I had the opportunity to attend a “Train the Trainer” workshop hosted by the Colorado Youth Corps Association and the Colorado Alliance for Environmental Education.
The workshop was meant to provide recruiting resources and techniques to governmental agencies and non-profit companies in the Durango area that work in natural resources. As a person who got recruited through the Resources Assistant Program (one of the many pathways mentioned), I provided a different point of view on the training. I shared my experience with my group members, and they gave me an insight into their positions.
I am currently working on my master's with the University of Miami in Ohio. One of my requirements is developing a project that aligns with my interests. I have a great passion for research and working with the youth. I combined both of my passions and came up with a youth-led citizen science project. I reached out to the community and discovered Mountain Studies Institute (MSI). MSI is a non-profit mountain research and education center that has various active citizen science projects. Coincidently, the person I was meeting with from MSI also attended the "Train the Trainer" workshop. I was able to explain my ideas and she connected me with a contact at the school district library. At the same workshop, I made connections for receiving grants for my project, which was very exciting. I had no idea I would meet so many important people at a simple workshop. Additionally, the workshop gave me ideas and a tool kit to bring back to my district! I will be sharing my ideas with my supervisor and see if I can execute training at our local schools.
I knew I was going to meet many people during my time in the San Juan National Forest, but I did not know to what extent. Many workshops are coming up and I now know how to prepare, thanks to this program.
Agency: U.S Forest Service
Program: Resource Assistant Program (RAP)
Location: San Juan National Forest