Below we feature the profiles of our EPIC BLM Direct Hire Authority Resource Assistant Interns
Geologist – Las Vegas Field Office
Ashley received her B.S. in Geosciences at the University of Texas at Dallas and is currently pursuing her M.S. in Earth and Environmental Sciences. Ashley is a Geologist intern in the ACE program with the BLM in Las Vegas, Nevada. Ashley is excited to take full advantage of her time as a Geologist intern and plans to learn as much as she can during her 11 weeks.
Before interning with ACE/BLM, Ashley worked as a Physical Science intern for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. During her time at the EPA, she assisted a senior geologist with his groundwater investigation for a Superfund site. Some of her projects consisted of constructing geological cross sections, structural contour maps and groundwater elevation maps.
During Ashley’s free time, Ashley enjoys traveling, hiking, working out and spending time with family and friends. Ashley is excited and looks forward to helping further the mission of protecting and restoring our public lands during her time in the ACE program.
Geographer Intern – Eastern State Washington Office
Chad has always had a love for the outdoors, and his interest in pursuing a career in an environmental field was sparked in 9th grade when he first participated in Envirothon, a nation wide environmental competition for high school students. Growing up in Maryland played a huge role in driving him to pursue a career in Geography. Maryland is known for its diverse range of environments, and growing up here allowed him to experience everything from the beaches of the Eastern Shore to the Appalachian Mountains to the west, and of course the beautiful Chesapeake Bay. Chad has spent the past four years pursuing a degree in Geography at Frostburg State University in Frostburg, Maryland. Performing field work in his Surface Water Hydrology class during the final semester of his Senior year has been the highlight of his education, and has shown him the value of performing research in the field. Chad is excited to begin working with the BLM in Washington, D.C. this summer because it is a great first step in the pursuit of a future career.”
Administrative Support Assistant – Bishop Field Office
Megan has spent her youth growing up in the Eastern Sierra Mountains located in Bishop. She has always had a love for the outdoors including hiking, fishing and riding her quad on public land. She graduated with a bachelor’s degree in communication with an emphasis in PR. She has worked for various different agencies in this sector and loves to dive deeper into shaping the way we use our land.
Throughout this internship she will be working with other staff and non-profits to improve an area of concern. Working towards a communication strategy for the Alabama Hills in Lone Pine, California. With years of experience she can’t wait to put her skills to work in a place so near and dear to her heart.
Archaeologist Technician – Little Snake Field Office
I am an Archaeologist interning at the Little Snake Field office as part of the American Conservation Experience’s (ACE) Emerging Professional Internship Corps (EPIC) program. I was born in New York, the son of a Chilean father and Puerto Rican mother, but I spent most of my life in Puerto Rico. My interest in history started at a young age, since both my parents were literature professors I was always surrounded by books and I always gravitated towards the books on culture and history. This eventually sparked my desire to study archaeology as a way to learn more about the material left behind by those who came before us. I followed this desire first at the University of Puerto Rico where I learned the basics and worked with Caribbean material culture, and then finished my BA at SUNY Stony Brook, where I obtained the connections to participate in the Megiddo Expedition in Israel which led to my Master’s Degree in History and Archaeology at Tel Aviv University. During my MA I participated in various excavations at various levels, giving me valuable experience in archaeological methods in various environments and conditions. Upon completion of my MA I moved back Puerto Rico and decided that the next step for me would be to build myself up professionally in the mainland USA, since the bulk of my experience was in the Middle East, in order to work on creating a career in the States. This led me to finding ACE’s internships listed on indeed, and I was fortunate enough to be given the chance to participate in this summer’s operations at the Little Snake Field Office in Craig, Colorado. I look forward to learning all the ins and outs of archaeological practices in this area, and I hope to do good work over the summer.
Archaeologist Intern – Lander Field Office
Adam Guinard was born and raised amongst the deserts and mountains surrounding the small town of Powell, Wyoming. His great grandfather spent his working life as a game warden, so the traditions of protecting public lands and stewarding natural resources practically run in his blood. Starting at a young age, Adam was introduced to the bounty of public lands by his grandfather, who took him hunting and fishing in every corner of the state. Through their adventures, Adam began to develop a passion for archaeology, as little traces of times past seemed to follow them wherever they went.
Adam received his bachelor’s degree in anthropology with a focus in archaeology from the University of Wyoming in 2014 and is currently enrolled as a graduate student in the master’s program for a degree in Northwest Plains archaeology. He has spent the last five years working for the University of Wyoming, in conjunction with the Wyoming Military Department, as an archaeology technician and as a crew chief preforming all stages of Cultural Resource Management on the Camp Guernsey military base located in southeast Wyoming. During the same period, Adam spent three years working in the University of Wyoming Archaeological Repository helping to restore artifacts collected during the River Basin Surveys to modern archival quality standards.
As an outdoor enthusiast and sportsman, Adam has long understood the importance of public lands and their resources. It is important for his future goals to find a career where his passion for archaeology and public lands can meld together, to share in the proliferation of archeological knowledge, and to contribute to public education and awareness of Wyoming’s cultural resources. Adam is thrilled at the opportunity to work through the ACE and the BLM, and he is looking forward to a productive season of field work. (Photo: Phase II Testing in the Hartville Uplift, Camp Guernsey SE WY).
Joseph ‘Joe’ Iglesias
GIS Specialist – Eastern State, Washington Office
I’m from Loudoun County in Northern Virginia (roughly 20 miles west of Washington, D.C.), and graduated from George Mason University in 2017 with a BA in Geography and Intelligence Analysis. While working towards my bachelor’s degree, I worked at Northern Virginia Community College as an English instructor and database analyst. Upon graduating, I began pursuing a career in the federal government and found the Bureau of Land Management to be a good fit for my skillset (specifically ArcGIS and data analysis). The ACE program presented a great opportunity to “get my foot in the door” and enter my desired career field. My long-term goals are to work for either the Bureau of Land Management in a permanent position, or the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) as an intelligence analyst.
AREMP Biological Technician – Corvallis, OR
My name is Chisara Iwuchukwu. I am an alum of St. Mary’s University and recently finished a six-month ACE AmeriCorps term. I applied for this position because I wanted a job that would help me further my career in government work. I hope to gain more practical experience working in the field.
I am very interested in ecology and conservation, and not only did I get my degree in Environmental Science with a focus on wildlife, I was also an active member of my school’s Environment, Outreach, and Conservation club which did camping and community events. I was even the risk manager one year. I’ve done field work, data collection and analysis, presentations and scientific writing not only in school, but on different undergraduate research internships I’ve had in summers past. I’ve done water sampling and plant and animal track identification in my labs, performed wildlife surveys out at the nearby park, taken classes in ArcGIS and worked with maps and handheld GPS units. I have had a lot of experience working in teams with people from diverse backgrounds, from my stay in Nigeria to my internship in Costa Rica to just living in Houston. I love doing field work and I plan on getting a Master’s degree in Ecology. I hope to one day become a wildlife biologist.
GIS Specialist – Southeastern State Office
My name is Catherine Karlovich and I am a geology graduate from the University of WI-Eau Claire. I was born and raised in Wisconsin, and yes I love cheese. I am an outdoor person which is why geology was a good fit. I love animals and have volunteered at several humane societies in the past. I did spend summer 2017 in Botswana, Africa doing missionary work which was such a fulfilling and growing experience.
I entered college as an undeclared student and took one geology class and was hooked. Ironically, I used to love collecting rocks as a kid but never realized I could put my love of rocks to use as an adult. I have come to the love geology so much because it explains our world, how it was made and where we came from.
I have taken a few classes involving ArcGIS but I am looking forward to this summer because I will be applying GIS to real-world problems.
Outdoor Recreation Planner – Ukiah Field Office
My name is Karolina (Wasilewska) Kukulka. Originally from Poland, my family moved to America when I was just one year old. I was raised in the Chicagoland area where my passion for the outdoors often led me out of state in search for greater, wilder adventures. In 2009, I made my brave move from Chicago to Alaska to attend Alaska Pacific University and pursue my dream of being a marine biologist. Sadly, my dream was quickly cut short due to my declining health. I made my move back to Chicago where, with the support of family, I was able to get back to good health! Despite the setback, I am thankful for experiencing life in another state. A couple years later, I got married and started a family which encouraged me to take courses in early childhood development and education. Shortly thereafter, I started working at Children’s Ark Academy in Palos Hills, IL where I moved from providing a science program into creating a curriculum and founding the non-profit organization, “Nature Discovery Club”. Today, the organization provides nature education programming, gets children and families outdoors, and inspires people of all ages to be stewards of Earth. However, it was not until after sharing my passion for the outdoors with these youngest joules, I decided I needed to go back and pursue a degree in biology. While working, and taking care of family, I attended classes at Governors State University working toward my degree.
In May of 2018, I will be walking across the stage to receive my bachelor’s degree in Biology. It has been quite the journey. My bilingual nature education program is now in seven Chicagoland preschools. I am extraordinarily thankful and excited to start the DHA program with ACE and BLM as the Outdoor Rec Planner in Ukiah, CA.
Civil Engineer – National Operation Center
Alexi Lainis grew up on the Front Range of Colorado and went to high school in Boulder. From a young age, he was fortunate to be able to visit and enjoy the immense range of public lands in the western United States. Experiences like climbing all the 14,000 ft. peaks in Colorado, trail building at Shelf Road, a rock climbing area on BLM lands near Canon City, and attending Colorado Preserve America Youth Summits during the summer, resulted in a deep appreciation of the importance of protecting public lands. As a small boy, he was fascinated by the way Interstate 70 winds its way through Glenwood Canyon through a massive system of viaducts and tunnels, minimizing the impact on the wildlife of the canyon and the Colorado River. This spurred Alexi’s interest in Civil Engineering and made him want to learn how to design infrastructure that reduces impacts on the environment and also help preserve natural resources like water.
Alexi is about to enter his senior year studying Civil Engineering at the University of Colorado, Boulder. During the past year, he worked as a research assistant for a Sustainable WASH (Water and Sanitation Hygiene) systems project. The project, funded by USAID, looks to seek ways to improve sustainability in the International Development Sector. He is extremely excited to work as an ACE intern with BLM this summer inspecting dams and bridges in Colorado, Wyoming and Montana
Outdoor Recreation Planner – California Desert District Office
Cecilia was born in southern California and alternated her time between there, Mexico, and Honduras for most of her childhood. Doing so gave her a deep appreciation of nature and the different services gained from it. From the time she was six years old she knew her life was going to be dedicated to the outdoors in some way, and her life since then has just been finding a path to get there. Now, a Bachelor’s Degree Graduate in Environmental Sciences, she has defined her love and passion for the outdoors and is glad to have found ACE to aid her in her quest. She hopes to continue to encourage all people to take a deeper appreciation of the environment, and hopes to dedicate her life long career to this.
Archaeologist – Eagle Lake Field Office
My passion for archaeological resources were initially sparked during my childhood as a result of growing up in rural Modoc and Lassen counties of northeastern California. Stumbling upon archaeological sites while recreating, hunting, and hiking throughout public lands I became inspired to pursue a degree relevant to this resource. Through my education at California State University Chico I came to realize the dynamic values of cultural resources not only concerning their historical value but the intrinsic spiritual value many archaeological sites possess. While at Chico State I was a part of the Advanced Laboratory of Visual Anthropology. There I made and assisted the production of several anthropological documentaries. Notable mentions include travelling to Antigua in the West Indies where I filmed a documentary detailing Betty’s Hope, a sugar plantation established in 1650. I also wrote, directed, and edited another archaeological documentary titled Torn. This film highlighted the destruction of petroglyphs on the Volcanic Tablelands near Bishop California where vandals destroyed and removed rock art panels in the Fall of 2012. This film highlighted the importance of cultural resources, cultural resource law, and utilized this unfortunate event to educate the public concerning cultural resource ethics. Torn has been featured on Public Broadcast Stations throughout California.
For the last seven years I have been fortunate to work on the Lassen National Forest as an archaeologist. Last year, I was given the opportunity to organize and lead a Passport In Time (PIT) project where myself, a large group of volunteers, fellow archaeologists, and a variety of forest service employees recorded the largest petroglyph site on the Lassen National Forest. Additionally, last summer I was able to synthesize all of the information we had on the Lassen and Nobles emigrant trails that bisect the Hat Creek, Almanor, and Eagle Lake Ranger Districts. This included GIS data, journal entries, field reports, and constructing a management system that efficiently tackles the
preservation of over 150 miles of historic trails across the forest. I was also a Resource Advisor for a few wildland fires in northeastern California and Nevada. The largest of which was the Long Valley Fire which burned approximately 84,000 acres.
Now having recently graduated from Chico State with a Master of Arts in Anthropology I would like to apply this education to a career with the Bureau of Land Management as an archaeologist. There are already so many amazing archaeological sites to protect. However, I am most excited at the opportunity to journey through extremely remote locations within public lands where undiscovered resources have yet to be identified. Even further, the
comradery and adrenaline I have experienced while working alongside Wildland Firefighters as a Resource Advisor has replaced a void I had not experienced since High School Football. I am a die-hard Dallas Cowboys fan! I cannot get enough of hunting. I am enjoying the slow build of a mini-ranch with my wife where we already have way too many animals. In addition, we are enjoying the wonderful busy life of being parents to our 1-year old son Cullen. I am also an avid PC gamer where I often stay up way too late with my friends playing League of Legends.
Land Law Examiner – Nevada State Office
I am 22 years old and was born and raised in San Jose, California. Growing up with parents who held nature in high regard along with two older brothers who always wanted to adventure, my love for the natural world blossomed at a fairly young age. My interest in environmental and wildlife conservation has thus been present since I was a child and it has transferred over into my academic/career goals. I most recently attended the University of British Columbia in beautiful Vancouver, Canada, majoring in International Relations with an informal focus on environmental policy. I hope to work in either the field of environmental policy or environmental law. While searching for potential positions that fall within the subjects of both government and conservation, I was lucky enough to find the DHA program which I am thrilled to have the opportunity to be a part of. I just graduated from university and am now looking forward to my next steps in higher education, as well as working with the Bureau of Land Management as a Land Law Examiner. With this internship, I hope to not only gain the experience needed to potentially work within the government, but also the knowledge of legal processes all within the umbrella of environmental conservation.
Wildlife Biologist Intern – Bakersfield Field Office
Emily Presley was born and raised in Greer, South Carolina. She has just graduated early from Coastal Carolina University with a Bachelor’s of Science in Biology with a concentration on Ecology, Evolution and Conservation Biology and a minor in Marine Science with honors. While at Coastal she completed an independent honors research thesis on the relationship between burrow and mound size in Atlantic Ghost Crabs, Ocypode quadrata, at Huntington Beach State Park. In high school, she volunteered and interned at Roper Mountain Science Center, assisting with animal-related children summer camps and animal care. She also interned at PAWS Animal Wildlife Sanctuary under the wildlife rehabber with the most state and federal licenses in South Carolina. This enabled her to interact with a wide variety of hawks, owls and waterfowl as well as a deer, squirrels, and bats. She is absolutely thrilled to begin following her true passion and studying the Blunt-nosed Leopard Lizard and to explore the west coast. After this internship, she plans to start a master’s program in Wildlife Management or Wildlife Biology and continue to work for the Department of the Interior or US Fish and Wildlife Service as a Wildlife Biologist.
Botanist – Bakersfield Field Office
My name is Ismael Ramirez. I was born in El Centro, CA and graduated from UC San Diego with a degree in Environmental Systems (Ecology, Behavior, Evolution) and minored in Science Education & Urban Studies and Planning. My interest in environmental conservation started in high school where my chemistry teacher, who was an environmental engineer, decided to teach Environmental Science as an optional course for students who wanted to learn something new. She introduced all of us to environmental issues we had only heard about briefly in textbooks or on the news and really emphasized local environmental issues such as the Salton Sea and our industrial agriculture.
From here I decided to pursue an education in environmental conservation which eventually led me to volunteering at the Tijuana River National Estuarine Research Reserve in Imperial Beach, California with the amazing and fun staff. That experience solidified my interest in working with native restoration projects and individuals working in the outdoors. From here, I worked for California State Parks as a Park Interpretive Specialist for an off-roading park in my local community and focused on environmental education programming to kids in the local schools. That experience gave me a better understanding of what community outreach could be and how important it is to engage the younger generation in public lands.
I will be working as a Botany Intern at the BLM Bakersfield Office working on invasive species removal and monitoring restoration projects throughout the district. I hope to get an inside look of BLM staff daily duties to truly understand the work that they do and to focus myself on a specific area of conservation. Hopefully, I would be able to work in my hometown’s BLM office in the future and conduct outreach to my community about the natural resources that surrounds them.
Geologist – Worland Field Office
I am Ulysses Rodriguez and I am originally from the Pomona, CA. Throughout my childhood, I have always been interested in Petro genesis and Mineralogy, even though most of the time the jargon flew over my head. Despite this, a mere interest planted a seed of passion in my head, nurtured by encyclopedias on mineralogy and Smithsonian books on topics such as volcanology, seismology, etc. When high school came around, I was ecstatic to find out that you can actually base your career on the Earth Sciences through an undergraduate education. As a result, I then proceeded to obtain a Bachelors of Sciences in Earth Sciences with a concentration in Environmental Geology from the University of California, Santa Cruz (December 2017).
As my undergraduate career ended, I was looking forward to putting my degree into use. Through this search, I was able to find out about the DHA programs that allow you to intern right alongside government agencies in the exact field you were studying (both figuratively and literally). I was able to secure an opportunity at the National Minerals Testing Lab in Worland, WY where I will be meeting with members of the public interested in rocks, or establishing a mining claims, in addition to working on a series of backlog requests submitted by BLM to the lab. Through this opportunity, I hope to obtain in-job experience in the Earth Sciences career field and continue to work full time for the BLM for years to come.
Hydrologist – Central Coast Field Office
My name is Mackensie Swift, I was born and raised in Elkhart, Indiana. From a young age, I have always been interested in water, specifically the Great Lakes. What started as fun trips to Lake Michigan as a child has now influenced my interests in water quality, pollution, and the management of natural resources. As I grew older, I slowly began to understand the severity of pressing water issues in urban areas, especially the Great Lakes region. After high school, I decided to attend the University of Wyoming to pursue a duel degree in Environmental Geology/Hydrology and Environment and Natural Resources with a minor in Honors.
During my time at UW, I have been so blessed with so many experiences. In August 2017, I had the privilege to travel to Coimbatore, Tamilnadu, India, to experience firsthand real-life water issues in a river system. The issues included excessive pollution and trash in water bodies, invasive aquatic species, and lack of meeting national water quality standards. Travelling to India really opened my eyes to the importance of not just watershed management, but natural resources management over all. Outside of class, I enjoy whatever will take me outside, especially hiking and fly fishing because they allow me to see this beautiful world.
Through this opportunity with the BLM, I hope to gain a deeper understand of the fundamentals of water quality and issues surrounding the management of western water. I want to be able to use the skills I learn this summer and apply them to all of my future career goals. But most of all, I hope this opportunity gives me a chance to step out of my comfort zone and experience a new place. After graduation in spring of 2019, I want to attend a master’s program focusing on hydrology or watershed management. My long-term goal would be to simply make a difference regarding water in the west of the Great Lakes.
Tiendung ‘Dung’ Tran
Petroleum Engineer – Eastern States Field Office
To uncover buried treasure that people, every day, walk over on top of without any idea it’s there. That’s the reason why I decided to pursue a career in Petroleum Engineer. I was born and raised in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. At the age of 16, I moved to the U.S to continue my education. I graduated high school in California and was planning to study Computer Science at UC Irvine, but after some time, I realized that Computer Science isn’t for me as I love being outdoor and traveling. I decided to move 700 miles away from home to New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology (New Mexico Tech) where I pursue my Bachelor of Science in Petroleum & Natural Gas Engineer with emphasis on Reservoir Management. At New Mexico Tech, with my technical background in coding and data science, I’ve been fortunate to work for Dr. Hamid Rahnema on various Oil Enhance & Improve Recovery projects. From working with Dr. Rahnema I developed strong skills in Reservoir Engineering as I monitored dozens of wells in the Permian Basin. Soon, my exposure to the oil and gas industry has created a passion within me. My passion for Petroleum Engineering lead me to this internship working for the BLM in Washington DC. I am excited to start my career journey with the BLM.
Archaeologist Intern – Roswell Field Office
Tara graduated from Auburn University in December of 2017 with a Bachelor’s degree in History. While pursuing her degree, she took classes in archaeology, archiving, and records management. Her experience in these courses and passion for preservation led her to seek an internship for the summer of 2018. She was chosen for a position with the Bureau of Land Management in Roswell, New Mexico concerning archaeological records management, merging together several of her interests. Tara hopes to continue pursuing a career in archiving and records management. She is attending a Master’s program in the fall in Library and Information Science at the University of Illinois.
Archaeology Technician – Lower Potomac Field Station
Karemy Valdez received her Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology and Russian Literature from UC San Diego. As an undergrad, she interned with the collections department of the San Diego Museum of Man and spent summers working at archaeological excavations throughout Latin America. Karemy recently earned her Master of Arts in Archaeological Studies from Yale University. Her thesis explored the potential for archaeological study of runaway African slave settlements in colonial Veracruz, Mexico and their legacy, as well as the scholarly trajectory of African Diaspora studies in contemporary Mexico. When she heard about the American Conservation Experience she instantly knew that she wanted to dedicate the summer to cultural resource management projects in North America. Karemy is excited to join the Lower Potomac Field Office team and hopes to continue working as an archaeologist with the federal government after her appointment with ACE comes to an end. She likes to stay active in her downtime and believes pineapple belongs on pizza—especially when paired with jalapeño.
Katherine ‘Katya’ Waters
Geologist – Las Vegas Field Office
My name is Katya Waters and I am a recent graduate of Sewanee: The University of the South where I majored in Geology and Russian. I’m originally from New Jersey and spent last summer interning for ACE with the BLM in Price, Utah as a quarry steward intern. This summer I will be interning for ACE with the BLM in Las Vegas as a Geology Intern. I’m very excited to be spending the summer out west again because there is a lot of amazing geology out there! I knew I wanted to work and live in the western US after I took a college course on Western Geology and spent three weeks hiking and camping in the national parks. I love going on new adventures that involve hiking and exploring. I’m hoping that my DHA experience will help me decide on what I want to study when I eventually go to grad school.
Geologist – Worland Field Office
Sam Wilhelm is interning as a geologist for the Bureau of Land Management, at the National Minerals Testing Laboratory in Worland, Wyoming. He received his Bachelor of Science degree in Petroleum Geology from Muskingum University, in Ohio. During his tenure as a college student, Sam worked for the geology department; helping to teach students geologic concepts, as well as developing rock field samples into thin-sections for petrographic analysis.
The ACE / DHA program has given him another opportunity to give back to the country. He has served in the federal government before, namely in the U.S. Army – serving in the the Iraq War; as well as a wild-land firefighter for the U.S. Forest Service in the Huron-Manistee National Forest.
He is hoping to continue work at the BLM Worland Field Office, where he can further develop his understanding of minerals, their economic importance and regulation, as well as the regional geology. Given the opportunity, he would like to pursue the necessary certifications to become a mineral certifier for the regional mines. Having the ability to use state of the art technology in an office environment, as well as conduct field work in the mountains and basins of the American West is a career gold mine – bad pun intended.
Many of his hobbies reflect his dedication to environmental stewardship. He is an avid outdoorsman, and enjoys backpacking, hiking, camping, kayaking, and is looking forward to the elk hunting and fly fishing in northern Wyoming. Sam enjoys long walks on the beach, only to look for Petoskey stones off Lake Michigan; as well as road-tripping and planning international trips he can’t afford, photography, reading biographies and history books, holding his chest while watching Notre Dame football or Detroit hockey, and pouring a perfect glass of beer. He is married to an amazing woman, Jessica.
Maintenance Technician Intern – Bakersfield Field Office
My name is Levi Williams I was born in Bakersfield California. My mothers side of the family immigrated from Spain in the late 1800’s. My Dad’s side of the family is full native Kawaiisu, which is a native American tribe located near Bakersfield. I have one class left until I get my Associates in Science Degree in Forestry. I have done an internship with Panorama Vista Preserve, have worked on multiple ranches, and my last job I worked with was with the Bakersfield Recreation and Parks Department.
Rangeland Management – Safford Field Office
AAfter graduating from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a degree in wildlife ecology, I was prepared for a diverse career as a wildlife technician. I traveled throughout the western U.S. for 9 years as a seasonal biological technician with NPS, USGS, Forest Service, as well as state agencies and private biological consulting companies. I was fortunate to work with a wide variety of species from sage grouse to sea turtles during this time and study many wildlife survey techniques.
I decided to return to school in Gunnison, CO in pursuit of a Master in Environmental Management degree at Western State Colorado University. This program has complimented my wildlife interests by broadening my natural resource experience and allowing me to focus on public land management. Land-based livelihoods have always played a big role in my life because I grew up in a rural community, and many of my jobs have involved collaboration with private land owners. I look forward to learning about sustainable range management and fostering positive relationships between the BLM and people who depend on public land for their livelihood and recreation. While not working in public lands, I enjoy camping, hiking, mountain biking, skiing, and exploring, mostly on public lands!
Outdoor Recreation Planner – Ukiah Field Office
Sam Bennett is interning as an Outdoor Recreation Planner for the Bureau of Land Management in their Ukiah, California field office. He is currently working toward his Master’s in Public Affairs the University of Texas at Austin where he is focusing on environmental policy and quantitative analytical methods.
Sam received his BA in Economics and Political Science from Webster University in 2013, going on to work in economic development and healthcare expansion. An avid and lifelong backpacker and paddler, he was always keen on transitioning his career into his true passion: the defense and responsible use of our public lands.
The opportunity to do so came in 2017 when he was accepted to the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs at UT Austin for his graduate studies. Throwing himself fully into the opportunity, Sam left his job early and spent the summer volunteering for the National Park Service in Yellowstone National Park. There, he assisted park planners in field data collection on visitor use and resource impacts, as well as performing resource maintenance and interpretive programming for visitors.
Sam is excited to gain more experience within the Department of Interior interning with the BLM. He sees assisting with planning at the relatively new Berryessa Snow Mountain National Monument as a great opportunity to apply his analytical skills, learn more about the early stages of the planning process for public lands, and build productive relationships within the BLM and other public land organizations. He plans to go on to a career in land management within the Department of Interior.
Wildlife Biologist Intern – Salt Lake Field Office
Esther graduated this year from Westminster College in Salt Lake City with a major in Environmental Science and a minor in Spanish. During her time at Westminster she conducted field research in Utah and abroad in Costa Rica. Her love for the outdoors and connecting others to it led her to be a crew leader for conservation corps during the summer. She did one season in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park and another mainly on the North Shore of Lake Superior in Minnesota. In her free time Esther can be found with enjoying life at a walking pace whether in the mountains, exploring the city, or backpacking through the desert.
Natural Resource Specialist – Bishop Field Office
Growing up near New York City, I believe there was more to living in this concrete jungle. I became knowledgeable of the value of protecting our natural environment from playing in the small garden in front of my apartment complex. As a child, I wanted to grow plants, but the soil was difficult to manage due to erosion. As I grew older, I realized that many areas in major cities were experiencing similar challenges to my garden. I learned it is essential to conserve green spaces, especially in densely populated areas. Green spaces are a great benefit to our environment. They filter pollutants, provide shade and lower temperatures, and even reduce erosion of soil into the waterways. Communities need to work together to protect our world through conservation and sustainable practices.
I graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Biology and became certified in Geographic Information Systems. I plan to pursue a master’s in civil engineering. Low-income communities across the country are suffering from polluted water and unhealthy air quality. I want to design new ways to make life better for people while respecting our natural resources. I believe an opportunity to work with the Bureau of Land Management, as a Natural Resource Specialist will allow me to understand how to manage and address complex problems. By applying my experiences and skills to communities that need it the most will be the greatest accomplishment in my life.
Nicole ‘Nik’ MacPhee
Wildlife Technician Intern – Salt Lake Field Office
Nik is incredibly excited to be working with the BLM, creating a water development geodatabase of the West Desert to better inform wildlife and land management decisions. She has been passionate about ecology and conservation since she was two years old and picked up her first National Geographic magazine with a Siberian Tiger on the cover. Her love for animals and the environment blossomed into a love for science, fueling her ambition to become an ecologist. She graduated from the University of Utah with a Bachelor of Science in Environmental and Sustainability Studies and a certificate in Geographic Information Systems (GIS). She specializes in spatial ecology and species interactions with a particular affinity for large cat species, stemming from her first encounter with the National Geographic magazine. Her research experience includes time in South Africa and Costa Rica, developing an understanding of feline distribution and abundance, as well as behavioral shifts toward human activity and presence. When she’s not getting her boots dirty in the field, Nik enjoys spending time with friends and family, hiking, camping, traveling, painting and drawing, chasing waterfalls, and throwing a tennis ball for her Australian Shepherd, Dallas.
Natural Resource Specialist Intern – Norman Field Office(Via Amarillo, TX)
Hello my name is Connor Smith. I am an Environmental Natural Resource major at Clemson University. I was originally born in Huntington, West Virginia in 1996 and moved to Anderson, South Carolina when I was 5 years old. I went to T.L. Hanna high school and graduated in 2014. After I graduated I went to Tri-County Community college where I Spent 2 years getting my General Education requirements out of the way. After the two year’s I transferred to Clemson University where I am expected to graduate in May of 2019. My hobbies include hiking with friends and family (to see scenic areas and take really cool pictures), fishing, and golfing. I am excited to work for the BLM because it is my first step into getting into my career field. I am excited and nervous in moving towards this new chapter in my life and will hopefully lead to something great when I graduate college.