By Sierra Hamilton, intern
I have been officially interning for the Palouse Land Trust for about 3 months now. Everyone has always told me that your internship years are the worst because interns are treated like an “office monkey” - fetching coffee and running errands for your superiors, while not getting a real authentic experience of what your future career may hold. This could not be a more false depiction of my experience working with the Palouse Land Trust.
This office, of only two official women, is a well-oiled machine of conservation butt-kicking. Jaime and Lovina have welcomed me with open arms and have given me so many chances to get my hands dirty with what a career in conservation really has to offer. I have learned so many critical skills that will stick with me for the rest of my life such as organizational skills and the ability to be flexible as well as having conversations and building relationships with landowners and people in the community. They have connected me with so many amazing people from different conservation sectors like Idaho Fish and Game, Latah Soil and Water Conservation District, and Inland NW Land Conservancy (to name a few).
It has been so inspirational to see what great conservation efforts can be accomplished with communication and teamwork from a wide range of players. I have gotten to see the not so glamorous side of conservation management, along with the moments and accomplishments that make all of the hard-work worth it.
I am about to start my fourth year of college and I will be done with my bachelors degree by the end of this year. I have had some major anxiety for the past couple of months as everyone asks me about what I am going to do with my life when I get out of college. I can honestly say that this internship with the PLT is persuading me to stay in Moscow after college, and at the very least to return to the Palouse a little ways down the road. I absolutely love the community here in Moscow, and being connected with the conservation community has really solidified my feelings of confidence and passion to be involved in the conservation of our community’s natural resources.
My degree is in natural resource conservation management and planning. Not only have I had the opportunity to learn more about the management of natural resources but I have also learned important skills in managing people and their use of natural resources as well as managing for time and the “office side” of conservation. This internship continues to surpass my expectations and makes me very excited for my own future in this field and for the future of conservation in areas like the beautiful Palouse.
I want to extend a huge thank you to Lovina and Jaime. Without them and their dedication to conservation, our community and the land that they help to preserve and conserve would be nothing like it is today. I feel very fortunate to learn from and hang around these amazing women this summer, and I know that coming out of this experience will make me a more confident professional and a force of change in my community.