A Day in the Life Working with the Washington Office: Remote Edition!

The site that I work for is the Washington Office which is located in D.C. While I do work with the Wilderness and Wild and Scenic Rivers program, I work remotely from my home in Atlanta. My day to day includes attending meetings and doing whatever work I have for the day. Currently, me and the other interns that I work with are working on case studies centered around climate change and it’s impacts on areas designated as a Wilderness or a Wild and Scenic River. Our first case study is shorter and we’ll only be working on these for a month. These are supposed to be practice for our next case study which will be a long term project, so we’re working individually on these first ones. My wilderness case study involves me working with the Southern Appalachian Wilderness Stewards, SAWS, on a GIS mapping project that looks at increasing engagement from communities in Buncombe County and McDowell County on public lands. This project is cool because I get to practice GIS and also help identify barriers to access in historically marginalized and under-engaged communities. My rivers case study is focused on the Beachie Creek Fire that affected Elkhorn Creek in Oregon two years ago. For this case study, I plan on focusing on how the fire affects a managers’ ability to oversee the river and the land surrounding it according to the their river management plan.

Even though I work remotely, I still meet a lot of people on a weekly basis. Despite not working in an office setting, I’m making connections with people who work with the Washington Office and also work remote. I’ve met people who work for the Forest Service out of Alaska, Montana, and even Chicago. The people I’ve been able to talk to have given me information, passed on wisdom, and made themselves available if I need help finding resources for my case studies or finding positions in the Forest Service after I’ve my internship ends. Two weeks ago I was able to got to Asheville, North Carolina for a two-day meeting with program managers and Forest Service partners like SAWS and the ATC, Appalachian Trial Conservancy. I didn’t want to go at first because it was only two days, but I am glad I went. It was refreshing to get out the house, meet other employees in person, and hear their experiences in the Forest Service. John Campbell is the Region 8 WWSR Program manager and while I work for the Washington Office, he’s helped me get to know the Southern Region better and have opportunities to go out into the field. Overall, everyone has been really welcoming and I’m enjoying working for the Washington Office and getting to know Region 8 while I can. If I ever get burned out from being inside, I know I can go outside and play with my dogs to recharge before I’m back to work.

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