01 Aug NEW BEGINNINGS AND RETURNING TO ONE’S ROOTS
Unlike many of my colleagues, I don’t have any magnificent landscapes from my workplace, which consists of my laptop on my dinner table. But I do have fond memories of spending time with my colleagues in beautiful Colorado, as seen above. While there are many beautiful landscapes near me, they are not US Forest Service lands. Currently, I am helping various US Forest Service teams in achieving their objectives, using my GIS skills, and also learning new skills around data management, python, creating story maps, and creating compelling brochures for the US Forest Service. Although I grew up in bucolic rural Pennsylvania and spent my childhood and undergraduate years in the woods and physically active throughout the year, whether it was running on trails, nature photography, or skiing, for the last few years, I stepped away from this aspect of my life. Although I trained in geography and GIS as an undergraduate, I did not apply these skills to environmental and conservation areas until recently. So, joining the US Forest Service and Environment for the Americas has been a new adventure, in which I have been able to refine my GIS and analytical skills and learn more about the efforts of the US Forest Service to preserve our landscapes, which I consider our national treasure. And yet, joining the US Forest Service and Environment for the Americas has also been a return to my roots. It represents a return to my outdoorsy roots, a return to the field and life that I spent my childhood in, and my undergraduate years studying. And so as the saying goes, sometimes we come full circle. And as the Chinese proverb goes, sometimes leaves return to their roots.