Hi, my name is Damon. I am originally from South Carolina but have lived in the Pacific Northwest since 2016. I enjoy hiking and exploring Oregon’s mountains, coastal areas, and high desert plains. I am a veteran of the U.S. Army where I served as a parachute infantryman with the 82nd Airborne Division. After my service I completed a B.S. Anthropology and subsequently a Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in G.I.S. I am also a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer who did my two-year service in Mexico. Currently, I am in the process of a career shift to working in the Natural Resources sector. When I stumbled upon Mt. Adams Institute, I realized the VetsWork Environment program offered all of the things I needed to make a career move: gain hands-on experience, work with experts in the field, professional development, and networking opportunities to name a few. I am super excited to intern with NOAA as a Salmon Recovery Specialist focused on the recovery of Chinook salmon and steelhead, both listed as Threatened under the Endangered Species Act. This position will be an opportunity to learn the framework and application of the Endangered Species Act, utilize my GIS experience in new and challenging ways, and develop other valuable skills in the process. I look forward to this opportunity and am happy to have found Mt. Adams Institute.