My name is Ryan Toth, and I am one of two Mt. Adams Institute, AmeriCorps interns working as a recreation site surveyor for the Mt. Hood Ranger District in the little town of Parkdale, OR. So far during my first few weeks it has been quite the adventure going up on the mountain and doing a little bit of exploring while working and getting my qualifications.
My supervisor and their co-workers have been more than helpful during my transition into this internship; basically showing me the ropes of how things work around the district, and how the next year will be. I have already been offered to go out with multiple departments throughout the ranger district, as well as out of town trainings that I’m really looking forward to. I had no idea of all the jobs that the U.S. Forest Service has to offer, and really hope I don’t have a hard time choosing when it comes down to applying for jobs with them after my internship.
So far on the work aspect of things, we have started fixing up the discrepancies for the upcoming safety inspection, started making signs for local campgrounds, completed a few online training courses, and tuned up some snowmobiles for us to ride. We took the snowmobiles out and rode up to the Clear Lake fire watch, where we delivered tools and checked on the family currently renting it out. After we saw everything to be shipshape, we road to the other side of Clear Lake, looking at local campgrounds we will be upgrading, as well as doing a bit of exploring in my new office (Mt. Hood). Although a lot of it was still under a couple feet of snow, it was good to travel around and get a small glimpse of what I will be working on.
I decided to attend what seemed to be a team building/safety meeting for the engineering department of the Forest Service, and was able to meet and greet most of the engineers based out of Mt. Hood National Forest headquarters in Sandy, OR. There I was able to learn a lot about their positions and how they operate when they are not in the field working. I also obtained potential fieldwork opportunities outside of my internship duties, in order to get a better understanding of the engineering field for future employment. I’m going to be learning quite a bit throughout the next year, so I am really looking forward to getting to know each department more in depth.