Every year the incoming Environmental Science and Policy students all take part in a tour of Southern Oregon’s bioregion. The idea of this class is to introduce new students to the area and the gorgeous diversity of landscapes, flora, and fauna that is Southern Oregon; from Crater Lake National Park to the coastal region, it gives incoming students a sense of place at their new school.
As a student worker for the Environmental Science and Policy major this year I had the opportunity to assist Professor Vincent Smith as a driver on the field trip. The two days are spent introducing students to both the geographic area of Southern Oregon, as well as, meeting the local agencies and businesses that work and hire in the field of environmental science. This included meeting with employees of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) at their local office here in Medford and getting a full tour of Abacela winery outside of Roseburg, OR. On the second day, we met with a National Park Ranger at Redwoods National Park, as well as a State Park Ranger working at Harris Beach, one of the most popular state beaches in Southern Oregon.
This trip provided an excellent opportunity to meet with both local state and federal agencies. I would love to work for the National Parks Service after I graduate so meeting with a Park Ranger from Redwood National Park was very exciting for me. She gave a lot of pertinent advice to making a resume and applying for jobs in all sectors of the National Park Service. She was welcoming to all of us in the group to reach out to her at any point with any questions or even to look over our resume. As a senior, I have been thinking a lot about the kinds of jobs I want to pursue with my environmental science and policy degree and getting the chance to meet with people that have the kinds of jobs I want after graduating was both helpful and inspiring.
A highlight of the field trip for me was getting the opportunity to meet all of the incoming class-people, it was a great opportunity to make new friends with people just starting in the Environmental Science and Policy major. The two days were jammed packed with beautiful hikes, views, and great conversations.
Story by Laina Rose, SOU Environmental Science & Policy Student