Welcome Deb Mumm-Hill!

Deb Mumm-Hill is joining the Mt. Adams Institute (MAI) as the new Executive Director.  Mumm-Hill is excited to support MAI’s mission of connecting people to the natural world through education, service, career development, and research. Throughout her career, she has witnessed the power of nature to inspire individuals and communities to become good stewards to the earth and to one another.

Mumm-Hill has a long history of leading nonprofit organizations implementing immersive programs that deepen career-connected learning.  She grew FIRST Robotics programs in Oregon, Washington, and Alaska by establishing urban and rural opportunities for students to enter the innovation economy. As the Vice President of Learning Experiences at the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry, she led the camps, education, outreach, research, and exhibit design teams.  Her expertise lies in promoting inclusive and accessible project-based learning experiences, which focus on developing skills and mindsets needed to thrive in a rapidly changing society.

“Deb’s experience and skill set elevated her application to the top of a highly competitive pool of candidates. We are excited to have her lead Mt. Adams Institute into its second decade of operations. She has a great team of staff and board members to work with as we seek to expand our organizational impact,” states Elizabeth Holmes Gaar, Mt. Adams Institute Board President.

“I’m honored to have the opportunity to become a member of the MAI team. I am impressed with the organization’s vision and the dedicated MAI staff who enthusiastically engage students, veterans, and community members in meaningful experiences that develop awareness and an interest in the natural environment. I’m beyond excited to have the chance to work and live every day amidst the majestic beauty of Mt. Adams and to become part of the Trout Lake / Gorge community,” says Mumm-Hill.

Mumm-Hill’s start date is March 1st. MAI looks forward to welcoming her to our community.

Dalton using Mini crane machine to clear brush and debris in the forest

What a Year!

What a year this has been so far! Throughout my internship, I have been exposed to so many new learning opportunities. My position had a slow start, but as my qualifications began stacking up, so did the availability of work I was able to do. A large majority of what I have done was regular upkeep of recreation sites and trailheads; this included a lot of mowing, weed eating, and cleaning, but I was also able to get a lot of trail time. At the Redbird district, my position has been somewhat of a jack of all trades. Among my regular duties, I have had the ability to work with felling and bucking up trees, fixing roads, working with timber sales, working with various types of heavy-duty equipment, and even gaining some experience as a repairman. Throughout my internship, I was able to gather a wealth of knowledge and experience to put toward a career. The experience I have gotten here isn’t just career experience though – there is an abundance of life experience that comes with it.

Vetswork has allowed me to gather an arsenal of qualifications, which make me a more qualified candidate for a career in this field of work. I have been able to work in timber, recreation/RHELM, wildlife, fire, and even a little bit of engineering. With the spread of work I have done, I’ve managed to meet quite a few great people. The networking I have experienced has led to many opportunities sent my way. Aside from being able to find the opportunities, the program has elements built into it that sets you up for success. The workshop on federal resumes and navigating USAjobs was by far one of the best things to help me on the right path. There are also resources available to you within the Forest Service that will put your resume out there for you and assist you in finding placement.

Dalton using a tool to combat a small, active fire

After my internship I am hoping to land a job with the district I am currently at. The position that just became available is an Integrated Resource Technician. This position would open a few new paths to me, mostly on the timber side, but I’d mostly be in the same type of role I have been in throughout this internship. However, if I don’t land a full-time job it sounds like there will be some seasonal jobs I can step into. This will allow me to hopefully get more qualifications and make my resume all the more appealing still.

Veterans Day Celebration: Julian Rodriguez

Veterans Day Celebration: Julian Rodriguez

Our Outreach Coordinator had the pleasure of sitting down with a group of current and former VetsWork Interns to discuss their service, current roles, and connections to the outdoors. Read below about Julian Rodriguez, Wilderness Recreation Technician for the Tongass National Forest. Continue Reading…

Veteran Day Celebration: Patrick Ford

Veterans Day Celebration: Patrick Ford

Our Outreach Coordinator had the pleasure of sitting down with a group of current and former VetsWork Interns to discuss their service, current roles, and connections to the outdoors. Read below about Patrick Ford, Volunteer Coordinator for the Sumter National Forest. Continue Reading…

Veterans Day Celebration: Chris Sutherland

Veterans Day Celebration: Chris Sutherland

Our Outreach Coordinator had the pleasure of sitting down with a group of current and former VetsWork Interns to discuss their service, current roles, and connections to the outdoors. Read below about Chris Sutherland, Field Technician for the Lower Columbia Estuary Partnership (LCEP). Continue Reading…

Veterans Day Celebration: Elamon White

Veterans Day Celebration: Elamon White

Our Outreach Coordinator had the pleasure of sitting down with a group of current and former VetsWork Interns to discuss their service, current roles, and connections to the outdoors. Read below about Elamon White, VetsWork Alum and current Southern Tier Fleet Management Assistant for the Hoosier, Shawnee, Midewin, and Mark Twain National Forests. Continue Reading…

Two people with chainsaws standing around a large tree that was cut down. Rings of the tree are visible

Mt. Adams Institute Receives $1.1 Million in AmeriCorps Funding

Mt. Adams Institute Receives AmeriCorps Grant to Continue Programs

 

Trout Lake, WA – Mt. Adams Institute has received a $1,119,904 grant from AmeriCorps the federal agency responsible for national service and community volunteerism.

This funding will support up to 95 AmeriCorps members across the country participating in Mt. Adams Institute’s career development programs: VetsWork Environment, VetsWork GreenCorps and Public Lands Stewards. These programs are designed to improve recreation, access, and conservation of our natural resources, while launching military veterans and young adults into careers within the public lands management field.

This AmeriCorps grant will allow us to build on a successful history of helping military veterans and young adults find meaningful careers with public lands agencies and other natural resource organizations,” said Brendan Norman, Executive Director of Mt. Adams Institute.

Mt. Adams Institute AmeriCorps members serve on conservation projects such as trail maintenance; visitor engagement, wildlife research, environmental education, geographic information mapping, invasive species monitoring, and community volunteer coordination.

This grant comes as a direct result of the success of the program. Since 2014, 81% of VetsWork participants who completed the program have been offered employment within the field. With this growth, Mt. Adams Institute looks forward to establishing new local partnerships and providing more opportunities for veterans and young adults to experience the outdoors while shaping their career path.

AmeriCorps will provide an additional $470,000 in Segal AmeriCorps Education Awards for the AmeriCorps members funded by this grant. After completing a full term of service, AmeriCorps members receive an award of approximately $6,300 that they can use to pay for college or to pay off student loans.

For the past year, thousands of AmeriCorps and AmeriCorps Seniors members across all 50 states and U.S. territories have continued their service, quickly adapting to meet the changing needs caused by the pandemic. Dedicated members have persisted to support communities as they respond and recover from the impact of COVID-19, developing new ways to deliver the same services to keep both themselves and those they serve safe.

The recently passed American Rescue Plan includes an additional $1 billion for AmeriCorps. The agency will use this investment to expand national service programs into new communities and increase the opportunity for all Americans to serve their country.

Every year, 75,000 AmeriCorps members serve through thousands of nonprofit, community and faith-based organizations across the country. These citizens have played a critical role in the recovery of communities affected by disasters and helped thousands of first-generation college students access higher education. They also tutor and mentor young people, connect veterans to jobs, care for seniors, reduce crime and revive cities, fight the opioid epidemic, and meet other critical needs.

As the federal agency for volunteering and service, AmeriCorps brings people together to tackle the county’s most pressing challenges. Since the agency’s inception in 1994, nearly 1.2 million AmeriCorps members have served the nation.

Mt. Adams Institute matches the grant funding with additional support from project partners, including but not limited to the U.S. Forest Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Columbia River Gorge National Fish Hatchery Complex, King Conservation District, Oregon State Parks, Willamette Resources and Education Network, and Willamette Riverkeeper.

Locally, VetsWork and Public Lands Stewards AmeriCorps members have provided over 42,000 hours of service at local Gorge sites over the past five years including the Conboy Lake National Wildlife Refuge, Columbia River Gorge National Fish Hatchery Complex, Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area, and the Gifford Pinchot and Mt. Hood National Forests.

Mt. Adams Institute is a nonprofit organization with a mission to strengthen the connection between people and the natural world through education, service learning, career development and research. More information about the organization can be found at: mtadamsinstitute.org

AmeriCorps is a federal agency that engages millions of Americans in national service programs. For more information, visit www.NationalService.gov .

Chris Sutherland

I grew up in Santa Cruz, California. I love hiking, digging around in the dirt and playing with plants. I served in the United States Coast Guard as a Machinery Technician and a shipboard Fire Fighter from 1997 to 2001. I have a B.S. in Science from Portland State University focusing on environmental studies and geography. I have been married almost thirty years and have two sons.
I wanted to return for a third term with MAI because I love working in and for the environment. I’m thrilled to be working with the group here at Lower Columbia Estuary Partnership (LCEP) and their many projects. I’m hoping to gain new experiences in wetland delineation and habitat restoration. I enjoy working with the communities, supporting volunteer events and being a good steward of this planet.

VetsWork: Feeling Inspired

Feeling inspired from a recent snowshoeing expedition to investigate a snow-covered mining claim, I decided to purchase a set of snowshoes and check out the terrifically named — Lake Valhalla. Continue Reading…