Floridian Becomes a Laramite

Coming from central Florida to Laramie, Wyoming for my Resource Assistantship, I was in for quite a change in scenery. I traded palm trees and beaches for mountains and bison. The first hurdle was not only getting to Laramie but also adjusting to a new place and environment. I had to learn how to dress in single-digit temperatures and remember that you need to scrape the ice off your car every morning. But, at the same time, there was so much to explore. I had never been to Wyoming before and the mountains that loomed over my new town were so enticing.

My first weeks of work were rewarding, but also slow. It takes a long time to get oriented with the federal government. There are never-ending tech roadblocks and training. Some days you think you’ll never get started with actual work. But soon enough, work comes. While I waited for the computers and ID cards, I needed to start work, my coworkers were nice enough to show me around the forest. We visited trailheads and I collected data on visitors and site conditions.

My coworkers and I visited several trailheads so I could document the uses and user conflicts.

While most of my time was spent in the office drafting plans, proposals, and presentations; I have had the opportunity to collaborate with professionals from many fields. I am lucky that the Laramie Ranger District Office is so large. There are Forest Service employees from all facets of the agency including recreation planners, biologists, analysts, firefighters, and park rangers. One of the most exciting parts of the Resource Assistantship is learning from a varied group of professionals. They have been kind enough to answer our questions and take the other interns and me on-site visits.

Some of the interns and I making site visit to a local campground within the Forest.
The rock formations at Vedauwoo, a popular rock climbing site within the Forest.

With so much to explore around Laramie, I had to take advantage of my free time to seek out new experiences and places. I took every opportunity I could to go hiking, trail running, and cross-country skiing. I am hoping that not only will my Resource Assistantship expose me to new skills and experiences, but that I will also seek them out in my free time. Since arriving in Wyoming I have gone hiking in Colorado, running up Pilot Hill right outside of Laramie, and going sledding at a now-defunct ski resort. One of my goals for this internship is to not only learn as much as I can but also to experience as much as I can.

The snow covered slopes of Pilot Hill.

So far, my internship has been challenging, but rewarding. While it was sometimes frustratingly slow to get set up in the office and I was itching to start on my projects; I am excited to see what I am going to learn. My supervisors and coworkers have been very helpful and eager to teach me new skills and knowledge. My Resource Assistantship is only beginning, and I am optimistic to see what challenges and successes lie ahead.

1 Comment
  • Katherine Shorten
    Posted at 19:42h, 20 March

    Great pics