One of my responsibilities
is leading hikes for the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Table Rocks
Environmental Education Program. The Upper and Lower Table Rocks are two of the
most prominent topographic features in the Rogue Valley in southwestern Oregon.
These flat-topped buttes with 800-foot vertical cliff faces are home to a
variety of protected plant and animal species. Each spring, our education crew
hosts more than 4,600 school children, teachers, parents and other
participating groups on guided hikes to the summit of the Upper and Lower Table
Rocks. We also provide in-class presentations and regional natural history
information for public events.
This summer I joined
a trail crew that works throughout the BLM’s Medford District of southwestern
Oregon, which includes sections of the Pacific Crest Trail that extends through
California, Oregon and Washington. As a trail crew member, I constructed and
maintained trails with the assistance of nonprofit groups including the
Northwest Youth Corps and the Job Council for Oregon’s Jackson County.
am assisting with environmental education programs at the BLM’s scenic McGregor
Park about 30 miles northeast of Medford, Ore., where I lead participants
through interactive educational stations with presentations, illustrative kits
and hikes. Environmental education topics include salmon lifecycles,
forest management, fire ecology, wildlife biology, American Indian history and
culture, and botany.
My experience working
at the Bureau of Land Management has been a rich and rewarding endeavor.
Nothing beats hiking for work every day and I am able to see direct results of
my hard work through the delight of children when they reach the summit of one
of the Table Rocks, or see salmon spawning in the Rogue River for the first
time. In addition to teaching young people to enjoy and respect the outdoors,
I’m also learning how to build and maintain trails for future generations to enjoy
the diverse biology and geology of this region.
I have gained a wealth
of knowledge about the natural and cultural history of this area, and I get to
share that knowledge with the thousands of visitors who explore the parks where
I lead hikes and maintain trails. The education I gained from Columbia College
laid the foundation for my internships and graduate coursework, which will help
me pursue a successful career as an environmental educator.
The Grossnickle Career
Services Center staff helped me develop my resume, cover letter and
interviewing skills during my final semester at Columbia College. The staff
also has been helpful after graduation by giving me advice as to what potential
employers may ask during interviews. I also attended Columbia College’s career fair
where I met a representative from the Big Muddy National Fish and Wildlife
Refuge in Columbia, Mo., and consequently gained a student position at the refuge
that I held throughout my undergraduate career.
If it hadn’t been for
the opportunities provided by the Grossnickle Career Services Center, I might
not be where I am today. With the center’s help, I gained valuable student employment
and internships that led me down my current career path. The skills I gained
from the workshops offered by the Grossnickle Career Services Center have
helped me become more competitive in my field, which will help me land a
permanent position as an environmental educator in the future. I advise all
Columbia College students to take full advantage of the resources the Grossnickle
Career Services Center has to offer—you won’t be disappointed!