About My Site: Southwestern Regional Office

Albuquerque, New Mexico

View of the Sandia Mountains from the Rio Grande that runs through Albuquerque

Albuquerque, located in central New Mexico, is a culturally rich location and is sometimes called a melting pot. Centuries before European settlers, ancestral Puebloans lived by and utilized the Rio Grande river that runs through Albuquerque. Albuquerque was founded by Spanish settlers in 1706 as a farming and sheep herding community, strategically located near the Rio Grande and the Camino Real (historic trade route between Mexico City and NM cities). Today, Albuquerque has a population of about 560,000 people and is one of the highest elevation cities in the US, an elevation up to 6,700 feet. To the east of Albuquerque towers the beautiful Sandia Mountains that have an elevation of 10,678 feet. Albuquerque is most known for the Annual Balloon Fiesta which brings in tourists from all over the world and is the most photographed event in the world. Albuquerque is also located within driving distance to many National Parks and National Forests.

Albuquerque’s Annual Balloon Fiesta

Forest Service: Southwestern Regional Office

My site location, the Forest Service’s Southwestern Regional Office, is located in the heart of downtown Albuquerque, New Mexico. The Southwestern region of the Forest Service covers 20.6 million acres of forests and grasslands within New Mexico and Arizona. There are 5 National Forests in New Mexico and 6 in Arizona that allow for many recreational opportunities. Elevations in these forests range from 1,600 feet in Arizona to 13,171 feet in New Mexico. The Forest Service’s Regional Office serves each of these forests and is comprised of many offices, include Fire, Range, Recreation, Wildlife, and Communication and Engagement.

Santa Fe National Forest, located in north central New Mexico

Office of Communication & Engagement

Within the Regional Office is the Office of Communication and Engagement. The Engagement part of this office is where I will be working in during this internship. The goal of the engagement office is to engage the public through outreach programs and environmental education. Through this internship, I will be helping with their goal by doing projects that will add to the education curriculum and take part in environmental outreach projects to the public.

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