VetsWork: Is That You John Wayne?

Alright, so the last time you guys heard from me I was battling snow for the first time which was no cake walk. Now I long for the days of cold and white while I bake in the sun soaked oven that Hells Canyon turns into during summer. Continue Reading…

VetsWork: Life in the Wallowa Mountains

So far this has been a wondrous adventure that I hope never ends. Since my arrival this past February, I feel like I have accomplished so much already. I am living in the small town of Joseph, OR, surrounded by the Wallowa Mountains. The population is 1,084 people and everyone knows everyone; I love it. I am serving my Mt. Adams Institute AmeriCorps term as a range management technician with the U.S. Forest Service on the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest. I am based out of the Wallowa Mountains office but work on projects in various areas throughout the forest.

My job is to assist the Range Management Team with the monitoring of grazing activities, water developments, and office projects. I also provide other departmental support to the wildlife biologists when they are short staffed. In March, I worked on a project where I updated maps with new water development locations and conditions on certain forest allotments. I have also had the opportunity to volunteer at local non-profits and help out around town. The following collage highlights my service term so far; I can’t wait to see what the rest of the year has in store for me.


VetsWork: New Friends, New Adventures, Same Place

I am currently working on my second term with AmeriCorps as an editor/writer intern. Within the past two months I have already made new friends, started a regular habit of power lifting with my AmeriCorps counterpart and roommate, and began learning about the wild world of environmental coordinators and planners. It’s a tough position assembling the odds and ends of different reports from different specialists and putting together the finished product. The work involves plenty of detail orientation and data management. You must be able to apply a holistic approach to the work that comes in and the interactions with the public because you work together with wildlife biologists, foresters, conservation groups, tribes, private land owners, botanists, archaeologists, etc. People are involved with the planning process with a wide range of focus, beliefs, ideas, and responses.

My fellow VetsWork members and I at Multnomah Falls.


I have been spending a huge part of this internship working with my supervisor – mostly desk work – indexing folders into a database for easier access as we push forward on with a project. I met my supervisor last year while working as the archaeological technician intern. The transition was smooth and the work load was planned out. One of the best aspects about the position aside from the information highway I have access to, are the opportunities to work in the field. I helped our range technician intern attempt to find some water troughs. We were able to get an awesome first hike in early in the season. We also helped out our archaeologist with a small project in Hells Canyon, it was exciting to see the Snake River once more.

Looking downhill to Dunn Creek.


It comes with a heavy heart that this blog will be my first this term and possibly my last. As of a few days ago, I was approached by another National Forest for a temporary position this summer as an archaeological technician. I’m going to miss Wallowa County and the friends I’ve made during the past year, but I’m definitely excited to continue on my career path. This is all thanks to the folks at Mt. Adams Institute, you guys rock and I appreciate everyone’s support and guidance!

Winter view of the North end of Wallowa Lake.