2023 VetsWork: Austin Keif

by | VW 2023, VW Display

My name is Austin Kief, and I grew up mostly on the east coast. Before starting high school, I lived in Ohio, Florida, Connecticut, and Maine, eventually ending up in Columbus, Georgia. I dual-enrolled at Columbus State University during my senior year and thought I would be a Spanish major and eventually become a Spanish teacher. However, I decided quickly that college wasn’t for me and joined the Marine Corps instead. In a type of cosmic humor, I still went to college in the Marines to become a Pashto linguist and learned that I love linguistics and learning about new cultures. While stationed in northern California, I got into hiking and saw some amazing landscapes! I was most recently stationed back in Georgia, where, overwhelmed by asphalt and light pollution, I started spending my free time backpacking in north Georgia. My wife and I enjoy being active but also spending time at home with our two cats.

I decided to become an intern with Mt. Adams Institute/AmeriCorps because I want a career in nature conservation. I want a career where my efforts go towards preserving the natural world that I love so much and where, hopefully, I can inspire future generations to build a relationship with nature as I have. I am excited to live in and visit rural areas of Alaska and explore geology, which is a science I may not have considered previously. I hope to develop a deeper appreciation for nature and gain practical and marketable skills that will help me in my career goals.