PHOENIX FIELD SCHOOL PROGRAM ORIENTATION WEEK
Location: BLM Phoenix District Office, ACYR, Phoenix College
Project Partner: ACE, BLM, Phoenix College, ACYR
Hitch Accomplishments: Field School Program Orientation; Backcountry/Outdoor Safety and Risk Management; Trails Theory and Training; Introduction to the BLM and Federal Land Agencies; Conservation 101 and Ecosystems of Arizona; Phoenix College Courses and Campus Orientation; Work Readiness Skills; Leadership Development; and Map Reading and GPS/Compass Training.
Monday, January 22, 2018:
On the first day of orientation, we welcomed the 14th cohort to the Phoenix Field School Program -Douglas, Shay, Nicole, Jeff, and Jeremiah! The new Field School crew met bright and early at Phoenix College for crew introductions and a campus tour before attending the first day of classes. During the morning session, the students learned about the available student resources and educational pursuits available at Phoenix College, as well as attended their Wildlife Management (BIO 274) class. After lunch, the students attended their Career and Work Experience Class and Outdoor Adventure Skills Class. It was a busy day but the students had the chance to learn all about the exciting topics to be covered in the upcoming 16 weeks!
Tuesday, January 23, 2018:
On Tuesday morning, the crew met at ACYR and jumped right into program orientation learning the in’s-and-out’s of the Field School Program including a history of the program, program expectations – both academic and field projects- and learning how to fully get the best of their academic and field semester. During the afternoon, the students participated in a Conservation 101 workshop led by ACE Crew Leader, Ian learning about all the diverse ecosystems of Arizona and a history of conservation and the different types of land management agencies. The students finished the day testing their knowledge with a lively game of Conservation Jeopardy!
Wednesday, January 24, 2018:
On Wednesday morning, the Field School crew continued their program orientation by actively participating in the ACE Outdoor Safety and Risk Management training learning about the potential risks associated with conservation field work in the southwest and how to stay safe throughout the program and on specific field projects. The crew also learned about the different types of hand tools they may be using in the field and how to properly use tools as well as how to mitigate environmental hazards in the field. After lunch, the crew was joined by Field School alum, Morgan (Fall 2016), who spoke with the crew about her experience with Field School and discussed with the students how to approach the many facets of Field School and the personal and professional opportunities that may arise. Afterwards, the crew participated in the afternoon workshop, “School, Work, and Life”, led by Ian, learning and discussing how individually, as well as collectively as a team, they can create a healthy balance between classes, field hitches, and personal time, as well as explored different strategies to aid them throughout the semester to ensure success in all aspects of Field School.
Thursday, January 25, 2018:
In full Field School uniforms and breaking in their new work field boots, the Field School crew headed up to the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Phoenix District Office (PDO) to learn more about the BLM, its diverse programs, the history of BLM and Field School, and of course – more about the different opportunities of Field School! At the BLM, the students had the opportunity to meet and speak with the BLM Phoenix District Leadership Management team, including Associate District Manager, Patrick Putnam, and Angie Meece, PDO Administrative Officer, as well as BLM Youth Coordinator, Lawrence Harper to learn more about their BLM experiences, why they care about Field School, and the different responsibilities of the BLM in Arizona. After a tour of the Phoenix District Office, the crew participated in an in-depth, hands-on GPS, navigation, and map and compass lesson led by BLM Youth Coordinator, Lawrence and BLM Youth and Volunteer Programs Intern, Cici (2017 Field School Graduate!). After learning the theory of map and compass, as well as GPS, the crew concluded the by heading out into the field to practice hands-on navigating by map and compass.
The Field School crew started Friday morning off by participating in an interactive leadership development workshop, allowing each student to explore their personal leadership styles, determining the different strengths and how to employ various leadership tactics in different field situations. Around 11 am, the crew was joined by ACE Trails Trainer, Jack McMullin who engaged the crew in an interactive lesson regarding trails theory and overview of the different types of trail construction and maintenance. Afterwards, the students completed a time management activity during which they worked together to prioritize daily tasks, habits, and responsibilities in regards to the Field School program, helping visual how to dedicate time to the different aspects of the program. The crew ended the day reviewing the orientation week and preparing for the upcoming week – BLM Wildland Fighting School, as well as going over outdoor gear, packing techniques, and menu planning.