2024 VetsWork: Cooper Roberts

by | VetsWork, VW 2024, VW Display

My name is Cooper Roberts, originally from Central Indiana, where my childhood was filled with romping in local creeks and forests alongside my three older brothers. This early love for exploration has stayed with me, evolving into a deeper appreciation for nature, which I now share with my spouse and our two dogs. My journey took a turn right after high school when I enlisted in the Army, serving as a geospatial engineer (MOS 12Y). This role was a blend of technical analysis and tactical decision-making that was a rewarding challenge to me. Post-military life led me to Oahu, where I embraced the roles of carpenter and farmhand. My time there was transformative, especially volunteering with the sovereign nation of Hawaii. While working to establish and tend kalo patches, I witnessed the native relationship with watershed reciprocity and its cultural significance. Now living in Olympia WA, I’m furthering my education at Evergreen State College, focusing on a GIS-centric curriculum that intertwines with permaculture design principles. 
Joining as a Mt. Adams Institute AmeriCorps intern through a Habitat Restoration position feels like a natural convergence of my military background, current studies, and personal values. This position is an ideal platform for me to apply the technical skills honed in the Army and to expand my knowledge in a field I am deeply passionate about. As a veteran, I am particularly appreciative of the chance to grow professionally in an area that allows me to give back to the environment. What excites me most about this opportunity is the prospect of working hands-on in nature, collaborating with fellow environmental stewards and stakeholders. I am eager to contribute to meaningful conservation efforts and to learn from the diverse experiences this role will undoubtedly offer. This internship is not just a career step for me; it’s a chance to align my personal and professional goals with my commitment to environmental stewardship.