Past BLM Direct Hire Authority Intern Profiles

Below we feature the profiles of our EPIC BLM Direct Hire Authority Resource Assistant Interns

Summer 2018Summer 2018
Summer 2017Summer 2017
Previous YearsPrevious Years

Ashley Chang

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.

Chad Ennis

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.”

Megan Erwin

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.

Danilo Giordano

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.

Adam Guinard

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.

Chisara Iwuchukwu

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.

Catherine Karlovich

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.

Karolina Kukulka

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.

Alexi Lainis

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

Cecilia Lopez

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.

Jacob Martin

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.

Morgana Omaleki

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.

Emily Presley

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.

Ismael Ramirez

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.

Ulysses Rodriguez

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.

Mackensiei Swift

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.

Tara Trentalange

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.

Karmey Valdez

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.

Samuel Wilhelm

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.

Levi Williams

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.

Clarinda Wilson

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!

Samuel Bennett

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.

Esther Daranciang

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.

Jennifer Lam

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.

Conner Smith

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.

Charlie Kwak

Archaeological GIS Technician Intern – Winnemucca District Office

My name is Charlie Kwak, and I am originally from South Korea. I came to the States when I was 14 in 2006. I’ve lived in various places within the states – Chicago, New York, Los Angeles, Wilmington, Washington D.C., Guam, and other places for extended periods of time. Due to my itinerant lifestyle, I have many friends all over the places. This summer, I will be in Winnemucca, NV as a GIS intern.

I graduated from Wheaton College in 2015 with B.S. in Biology. My first job out of college was being a teacher. While teaching environmental stewardship to students, I developed a passion for a proper environmental stewardship, and I’ve decided to enroll in M.S. in Environmental Biology with GIS application. This choice led me to very interesting places such as Guam, through U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services, and because of my school’s proximity to Washington D.C. I got a chance to intern at the White House last semester! I am almost finished with the program and am very much looking forward to start my career with the Department of Interior.
I play many musical instruments, love to swim, and meet other people! If you see me please say hi, I’d love to meet you and be your friend.

Gabrielle Lukins

Outdoor Recreation Technician – Winnemucca District Office

Gabrielle Lukins is originally from Oregon where she received her Bachelors in anthropology and geography from the Portland State University. She currently is working on her M.S. in applied anthropology with an emphasis on environmental anthropology at the University of North Texas. Her master’s thesis is on the human dimensions of wilderness use focusing on recreation management with U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service at Wichita Mountains National Wildlife Refuge, OK. She has combined her personal interests in public lands, conservation, social science, and GIS to translate into her professional and academic goals. The ACE DHA program serves to facilitate her ongoing interests of working with federal conservation agencies to continue the conservation and enjoyment of our public lands.

Payton Hammer

Land Law Examiner – Nevada State Office

My name is Payton Hammer and I was born in June of 1996 on a hot summer day in Rancho Mirage, Ca. The Coachella Valley is my home and always will be but I moved to Arcata, CA, to attend Humboldt State University four years ago. I came to Humboldt undeclared and kind of clueless about what I wanted to do with my life, I knew that I either wanted to work with the environment or work with money. During my second year at HSU I took an Economics principles class because I took economics in high school and I knew I was good at it. Little did I know Humboldt offered an Environmental Economics focus within their Economics major and Once I heard that I was sold. From then on I have become more and more passionate about economics and using that to help conservation efforts and supporting sustainable development. My long-term goal is to work on an international level helping developing countries implement environmentally conscious and sustainable development policies to ensure long term public health and resource independence. It is my hope that with this internship I gain experience working in with an environmental agency and gain new perspectives on ways I can help protect the environment.

Zach Paulson

Outdoor Recreation Planner – Ukiah Field Office

My name is Zach Paulson. I am from Corte Madera, California. I recently graduated from Willamette University with a BA in environmental science (natural science emphasis), with a minor in biology (ecology/evolutionary emphasis). I have always enjoyed the outdoors and had a passion for protecting the environment. I found out about ACE’s internships through Conservation Jobs Board. I decided to apply to the Outdoor Recreation Technician Intern position at the Ukiah Field Office because I felt that it aligned very well with my career goals. I hope to go into a field relating to land or resource management. Many of the jobs that fall into this category are provided by government agencies. For this reason, the DHA aspect of the position appealed to me.

My work experience includes leading trips for my university’s outdoor program, working on a GIS project as an intern for the Oregon Department of Forestry, checking wildlife cameras for Felidae Conservation Fund, and invasive plant removal with Conservation Corps North Bay. I plan on going into a resource management related field, such as forestry, water resource management, or land use planning. I also hope to receive a master’s degree in a similar field, my dream school being Oregon State. I am excited to start with my internship in Ukiah. I am confident that it will help me work toward my long-term career goals.

Alisa Brown

Geologist Intern – Winnemucca District Office

“Alisa Brown has recently graduated from the University of Wyoming with a Bachelors in Anthropology. She has lived in Wyoming her whole life and this will be her first time living somewhere different and she is very excited for this experience. She found her passion for Anthropology immediately following High School, although she wanted to do forensics and that is still her passion while in college taking archaeology classes started to intrigue her. She went to Croatia for an archaeological field school in the summer of 2017 and learned a lot there. Even though her position here with the BLM is in something other than her field of expertise she is still excited to learn what she can and be part of this team! She is excited for this experience and ready to see where it will lead her in her future.

Miles Davis

GIS Intern – Washington DC National Office

“Miles Davis has always been interested in learning about different places in the world. Miles has always wanted to understand the relations between humans, animals, and the physical features of the earth. Growing up, he always took an interest in the discovery channel and animal planet. Miles attended West Virginia University in 2013 to study geography. He chose to focus on GIS as his area of emphasis. He joined a school club, “Maptime Morgantown”, to help sharpen his GIS skills. He also took various other course, such as digital earth and geographical data analysis. The BLM internship is the first work experience Miles has had and he is very excited to be a part of it. If Miles is not studying geography, he is being active doing activities like hiking playing basketball”.

Brenna Hare

Natural Resource Specialist – Ukiah Field Office

Brenna Hare grew up in the California Foothills and developed a passion for ecology and conservation as she watched her childhood “backyard” being consumed by suburban sprawl. She is an avid learner; Hare enjoys exploring emerging research on soil microbiology and restoration practices. During her time at Humboldt State University, Hare focused her studies on ecological restoration with a strong interest in the role of soil microbes in restoring degraded landscapes.

Upon graduating, Hare has had the opportunity to work with both nonprofit organizations and government agencies in the field of conservation. She has spent time mapping invasive species in California’s redwoods, planning fundraisers for Piedras Blancas Light Station, installing native landscapes in southwest Florida, and most recently, conducting Visual Resource Management (VRM) surveys within Berryessa Snow Mountain National Monument. Through these diverse experiences, she has gained a working knowledge of graphic design, plant identification, VRM, GIS, public outreach, and data collection. Hare intends to use her education and experience in natural resource management to further

Olivia Martinez

Public Affairs Intern – Wyoming State Office

Olivia Martinez is a born-and-raised WY native, who has traveled to every corner of the state. Her enthusiasm for conservation became evident to those around her at a young age. At her family cabin, which lies at the head of Star Valley, WY she spent much of her young life fishing and hiking the public lands in the surrounding area with her Grandparents. As natural sportsman, they strove to teach her the value of conservation and preservation of public lands, as to provide future generations with the awe and experiences she was afforded growing up. She returns to her family cabin as often as possible and is continually reminded of the lessons she learned from her grandparents. She continues to enjoy the opportunities on the public lands; fishing, recreational riding and enjoying the wildlife. Olivia is very vested in continuing good stewardship of Wyoming’s public lands

Olivia is currently attending the University of Wyoming, where she will receive her Journalism BA in the fall. Her focus of study is Public Relations in the communication department, where she focuses on public outreach. Olivia currently holds a head associate position at a private business in Laramie where she helps coordinate social media and event campaigns. Her goals for the summer are to put together a comprehensive communication network, develop a network of professional leaders, and build rapport within the federal community.

Myunghwa “Cathy” Kim

Contracts Specialist – Washington DC National Office

Myunghwa “Cathy” Kim came to United States when she was 15. Since then, she has strived to take on leading roles in her areas of passion, such as an administrative assistant at her alma mater’s law school, where she also led a group of employees, a founder and leader of on-campus human rights organization to help the refugees, and as a Youth Ambassador to South Korea with goals to improve the bilateral relationship. But her love and passion to serve United States, her second home, extends beyond just the scope of her study in political science. Her experience of working with many small businesses during her senior internship under a congressman was critical in awakening a passion in her to be an advocate of good steward of taxpayer dollars via providing for open and fair competitions. Her best asset is a proactive mindset to take initiative as well as the utmost commitment to timeliness. Outside of work, you might get a glimpse of her on an ambulance as an EMT (Emergency Medical Technician) or at a really good happy hour spot.



Eduardo Cordova

Eduardo Cordova

GIS Specialist – Carlsbad Field Office

My name is Eduardo Cordova. I was born on September ninth 1991 in San Diego, CA. I am from Hispanic descent. I spent most of my life in San Diego, and the only vacationed outside the state a few times, three times to Mexico to visit family, and once again to Texas to visit family. I am currently writing about my life in New Mexico for this Internship, which marks the first time I have traveled outside my home state in over 15 years. I have had many experiences in my life that shaped me into the person I am today, some good, some bad, but mostly good. I lost my mother at the age of twelve; I never knew my father so in a way my mother was both. My older sister took care of me after she passed. I have 2 brothers and 2 sisters and this event brought us closer together.

I graduated from Serra High School with Honors in 2010. I went to community college for four years as I tried to figure out what I want to do with my life. It was getting down to the wire when a councilor told me about GIS. I started to peruse GIS upon his recommendation. My plan was to switch careers if I did not enjoy, well I graduated with a degree in Geographic Sciences with and emphasis in GIS. I transferred to San Diego State University and spent 2 and ½ years completing my degree.  I loved the campus and all the neat people there. I meet a councilor that was not mine, but she was so darn sweet and helpful I never visited my assigned councilor, and she never turned me away. Her name was Diana Richardson, and she is the best. She helped me navigate university life. She helped me get a research position for a professor that I am still involved with today, getting me my first world experience in GIS projects. I graduated in December 2016. That lead to here, I am now interning at one of the busiest BLM offices in the nation.


Marlin Deras

Ecologist – Grand Junction, CO

Marlin was raised in Georgia and attained her B.S. of Biology at Dalton State College.  A conservation class grabbed her attention and from then on she decided to pursue a career in the subject matter. A Google search led her to Student Conservation Association and through them she was able to intern with the BLM in Grand Junction, Colorado working under the ecologist.  After a summer of interning, Marlin decided she needed more experience in the conservation field and continued doing different seasonal positions such as experiential educator to resource management and fire intern in Florida.  Marlin is excited to start this new journey with the BLM as an ecologist intern and continue this lifelong pursuit.


Trista Dowdy

Park Ranger – Arcata Field Office

I am originally from Galt, CA which is about 30 minutes south of Sacramento.  I have lived in Eureka for the past five years. I graduated from Humboldt State University in December 2016, where I received a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Environmental Science with an emphasis in Ecological Restoration and a minor in Wildland Soil Science. I’ve been fortunate enough to work at the same BLM office for the past three summers. My first two summers, I worked as an interpretive ranger at the Headwaters Forest Reserve and this summer I am thrilled to have the opportunity to work for the American Conservation Experience (ACE). Throughout my internship I will be writing a new interpretive plan for the Headwaters Forest Reserve to replace existing signs and implement two new signs on the trail they will begin constructing in August. On my free time I enjoy hiking, camping, and traveling with my dog, as well as going to the beach and spending time with friends. I am a certified interpretive guide through the National Association of Interpretation and enjoy leading interpretive hikes and summer school programs. After this internship I hope to begin a master’s program that focuses on rangeland conservation, so I can work with ranchers to help make their ranching operations more sustainable.

Michael Dunn

Natural Resource Specialist – Northeastern States Field Office

I was born in Greenville, South Carolina. I moved to Wisconsin when I was two years old and eventually graduated from Homestead High School in Mequon, Wisconsin. After graduation, I moved to Stevens Point to pursue a degree in Forest Management and German Language and Literature at the University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point. I studied in Stevens Point for five years, and graduated in 2017, before moving back in with my parents in Brown Deer. Since about half way through high school, I have managed to get summer jobs each year that pertain to natural resources in some way or another. Prior to working for the BLM, I worked on a tree farm, at a nature preserve, shadowing a city forester, and interning with the USFS. My hobbies are fishing, hiking, target shooting, bike riding and grilling. I look forward to the work ahead during my six month internship with the BLM, and hopefully landing a federal forestry position afterwards.


Rurik Fencl

Outdoor Recreation Planner – California Desert District

Rurik has dedicated his professional career towards stewardship of public lands.  He started as summer backcountry guide promoting Leave No Trace practices on all of his trips, and knew he wanted to help protect these lands so future generations could enjoy them too.  He got his Bachelor’s in Environmental Science with a focus in Environmental Information and Mapping, and a minor in Recreation Resource and Protected Area Management at the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry in Syracuse, NY.

His first internship was as a naturalist and outdoor educator in Wyoming for elementary and middle school age youth, and promoting an understanding of the impact that the health of the region’s environmental health has on the students.   His introduction to federal land stewardship was when he joined the Student Conservation Association’s Desert Restoration Corps (DRC) and worked to restore desert tortoise habitat and Off-Highway vehicle incursions in and around BLM Wilderness areas in the Mojave Desert.  His interest was peaked by the complex resource management issues with desert ecosystems, and was able to stay in as a Wilderness Intern for the following season.

With Wilderness Specialist Marty Dickes’ mentorship, Rurik was able to develop comprehensive restoration plans for a wilderness study area and a large, complex wilderness area.  Rurik was able to stay on and see the first restoration crews begin work on projects that he had planned.  Rurik’s priorities were reassigned and he conducted Lands with Wilderness Characteristics inventories for use in the West Mojave (WEMO) and Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan (DRECP) planning areas, working primarily to inventory some of the further and more remote units in the office.  Rurik helped train new DRC crews to help set them up for success in restoration and data collection.


Hunter Flaco

Natural Resource Management – Las Cruces Field Office

Hunter Falco is a native New Mexican from Rio Rancho. From a young age, her passion was in fisheries work and decided to attend New Mexico State University. At New Mexico State University she studied Fish and Wildlife and recently graduated with her bachelor’s degree. Hunter’s hard work and dedication lead to undergrad position in Dr. Colleen   Caldwell’s lab at NMSU. During her time in Dr. Caldwell’s lab, she conducted a project to measure the fecundity and fish quality of endangered Rio Grande silvery minnow. In addition, to working with Dr. Caldwell she held three summer internships. Hunter contributed to the conservation efforts for Arizona native Apache trout working for both U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Arizona Game and Fish Department. Hunter served as president of the student subunit of American Fisheries Society for two terms. Working with many local and government groups to promote fisheries conservation. Through these efforts, her passion was fueled towards native fish conservation.

All of these accomplishments lead to Hunter to be given an opportunity with the Bureau of Land Management Las Cruces Field Office working in the wildlife department. Working with BLM has given Hunter the opportunity to work in a variety of different aquatic and fisheries environments. She gained firsthand experience with management of different rivers, streams and their inhabitants. Working to protect and/or conserve native fish species is something Hunter is very passionate about, and working with the BLM has given her that opportunity and realize her dream. Working with BLM is something that he hopes to do in the future and further her experience by obtaining a Master degree.

Roderick Flannery Bio pic

Roderick Flannery

GIS Specialist – Northern States Field Office

From Chapel Hill, North Carolina, Roderick attended university at UNC Chapel Hill where he earned a B.A. in Geography, with a focus in GIS. Immediately following his graduation, he began an eight month GIS internship with the Southern Environmental Law Center’s Chapel Hill office. During the internship, Roderick assembled the first iteration of a georeferenced database of all public surface drinking water intakes in six Southeastern states.

In May of 2016, Roderick joined ACE’s Utah AmeriCorps program as a sawyer. He then went on to serve as an assistant crew leader, and then as a crew leader, before ultimately returning to North Carolina in December. During his time with ACE, Roderick served in 5 different states and finished with 1,027 volunteer hours, prior to being signed on as staff.

In the Spring of 2017  secured a DHA internship with the BLM’s Milwaukee Field Office as a GIS tech.


Fernando Gonzalez

Archaeologist – Las Cruces Field Office

 Fernando Gonzalez grew up the son of two immigrant parents in Spring Valley, California. As a result of poorly managed freshman and sophomore years, Fernando left high school a year early in order to get a head start on his post-secondary education at Modesto Junior College. After an unfortunate turn in circumstances, he decided to enlist in the California Army National Guard at the age of 19. After returning home from Basic Training and moving to Santa Cruz, CA, Fernando would obtain his AA at Cabrillo College. After 6 years of service and a voluntary deployment Fernando returned to the Central Valley to finish his BA in Anthropology at UC Merced. During his time at MJC he found he had a passion for Anthropology, and continued to pursue it at Cabrillo and UC Merced, which led to his involvement with archaeology.

After attending a field school with Cabrillo over the summer of 2014, Fernando was soon working in the cultural resource management field over the summer and participating in field research. Over the last three years he has seen his experience in the field grow exponentially from a young man with no idea what archaeology was all about to being able to put together, implement, and carry out a resource management plan. Fernando feels incredibly fortunate to have been mentored by some of the finest archaeologists he has met and feels he owes any success he may have to their patience and enthusiasm, and hopes to make an impact on the discipline in his own right.


Jonathan Jew

Outdoor Recreation Planner – Monticello Field Office

After working as a recreational guide for years, largely on public lands, Jonny shifted focus to work more directly with natural resources and land management agencies in 2015. That experience began with performing plant inventories for the Nevada Department of Fish and Wildlife at the foot of the Sierras. After that season, he moved across the Great Basin to Salt Lake City to do GIS at the Utah State Office. While there, Jonny created georeferenced recreation and travel maps of high use areas across the state. His map for Indian Creek climbing areas won the award for “best professional map” at the 2016 Utah Geographic Information Council, so it is little surprise that he is now thrilled to be working at the Field Office responsible for Indian Creek. Every day looking across breathtaking canyons and ancient ruins is a healthy reminder why working for the BLM is so rewarding and important. Jonny is looking forward to applying his background in GIS and data management to the Monticello Field Office.


Krystal Kissinger

Archaeologist – Bishop Field Office

Krystal is an American Conservation Experience (ACE) Archaeology Intern at the BLM Field Office in Bishop, California. Like many others, her interest in archaeology was sparked at a young age while watching the Indiana Jones films. Krystal decided to pursue a career in archaeology while participating in an archaeological field class in the Western Mojave Desert, where she learned how to conduct survey, excavation, and site documentation. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Anthropology with an emphasis in Cultural Resource Management from California State Polytechnic University, Pomona in 2010. The following year, Krystal attended the California State University, San Bernardino and San Bernardino National Forest Applied Archaeology Field School in the San Jacinto Mountains. She recently completed graduate school at California State University, Northridge, where she earned a Master of Arts degree in Public Archaeology. Her thesis research focused on the historical archaeology of construction camps along the First Los Angeles Aqueduct in Santa Clarita, California. Krystal lives in Bishop, California and has worked as an archaeological technician for the Inyo National Forest since May of 2016. She considers herself extremely fortunate to be living and working in such a beautiful area and enjoys hiking, rock climbing, and skiing.


Laurel Lueders

Archaeologist – Bishop Field Office

Growing up in Northern California, Laurel was raised with an appreciation for the land and its historical ties. For the past eleven years, she has volunteered at Girl Scout camps and found a passion for working with girls of all ages while encouraging them to enjoy and respect the outdoors. Laurel is currently pursuing her Master’s in Cultural Resource Management (CRM) at Sonoma State University and is interested in cultural landscape studies. She holds a Bachelor’s degree from Humboldt State University in Anthropology with an emphasis in archaeology and biological anthropology. Previously, she has worked with the Eastern California Museum located in Independence California and their collections of prehistoric artifacts. She also completed an internship with the San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park in their collections facility. As an avid hiker and outdoor enthusiast, Laurel is excited to call Bishop her home for the summer.


Kate Magargal

Archaeologist – Moab Field Office

Kate’s love of the American deserts began as a pursuit of wilderness, but has transformed into a passion for working at the interface of science and land management. She believes that scientific inquiry is an important venue for incorporating diverse voices and experiences into the management of our public lands. Kate is currently working on a PhD in Anthropology at the University of Utah, with research focused on the ecological relationships of human communities with their local environments, both past and present. She is interested in the applied aspects of this topic, especially where it may articulate how human-ecosystem relationships can inform good management practices. Kate is excited to work with the diverse groups that form our robust discourse over public lands as a BLM DHA intern.


Terra Meares

Natural Resources Specialist – Arctic Field Office

Terra Meares has spent the last five years switching careers towards her dream of becoming an environmental steward to help preserve the Earth for future generations. She is currently working on her Master’s in Environmental Assessment through North Carolina State University (NCSU) in addition to volunteering her time with the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). Previously, Terra received Summa Cum Laude honors from NCSU with a Bachelor’s degree in Plant and Soil Science, a concentration in Crop Biotechnology and a minor in Environmental Toxicology. Furthermore, she was a George and Gladys Spain Scholarship recipient, President of the Honors Society, and Student Ambassador for her college.

While earning her Bachelor’s degree, Terra interned at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences Prairie Ridge Ecostation, where she assisted in Citizen Science research and developed her own program to educate the public on the importance of pollinators and designing pollinator gardens using native species. She then had the exciting opportunity working in the Small Grains Laboratory through NCSU as a Research Assistant where she performed the unique double haploid wheat breeding method, as well as assisted in identifying disease and pest resistance in different wheat varieties through DNA analysis.

Just over a year ago, Terra and her husband (Matt) moved back to Alaska where he grew up. Along with their two boys (Emerson – 3.5 years, Briar – 9 months), the family enjoys immersing themselves in the outdoors, hanging out in their garden with their chickens, cooking, crafts, and the beauty of Alaskan summers. Terra is elated with her Legacy Wells project through BLM and the American Conservation Experience (ACE) and is eager to see where the journey takes her.


Martina Middione

Rangeland Management – Bishop Field Office

Martina Middione discovered the field of Rangeland Ecology after becoming the ranch manager of a small horse and cattle operation in the foothills of Central California. This position introduced her to many aspects of land management and inspired her to want to learn more. Spending time as a backcountry guide and mule packer in the Sierra Nevada’s gave her additional appreciation for public lands and their uses. These experiences brought her to attend the University of Nevada, Reno to pursue a BS degree in Rangeland Ecology and Management. This program allows Martina to build upon her past experiences, while advancing scientific knowledge of range ecology. Through this program she developed a balanced background in plant and soil science, livestock management, and GIS, discovering an affinity for plant identification in the process. While at school, she has had the opportunity to work for a range ecology professor at UNR where she spent time doing vegetation monitoring using the Assessment, Inventory, and Monitoring protocols. This position allowed her to study the application of state-and-transition models and develop her ability to identify the ecological processes that shape wildland sites. Martina’s favorite thing about range ecology is figuring out the story that the land has to tell.

Martina is currently a Rangeland Management Intern in the ACE program with the BLM in Bishop CA, and is enjoying learning how the BLM manages for multiple uses while maintaining or improving the health of the land. She has also learned the importance of collaborating with partner agencies and permitee’s to make the best decisions. In her spare time, she enjoys adventuring in the Sierra Nevada’s (and occasionally the Swiss Alps) on four legs or two, or a snowboard in the winter. Martina will soon be starting her senior year at UNR and is excited to apply her education, in and out of the classroom, to bettering western rangelands.


Rachel Miller

Natural Resource Specialist – San Luis Valley Field Office

Rachel received a Bachelor of Science in Environmental and Political Science from the University of Michigan in 2016. In her first two years of undergraduate studies, Rachel focused on environmental policy and after spending a semester in New Zealand, transitioned to a focus in ecology. Since graduating, she has been working as an intern with the Bureau of Land Management San Luis Valley Field Office. During her first field season she monitored vegetation and soils as an Assessment, Inventory, and Monitoring (AIM) Technician. In the winter she interned as a wildlife biology technician, managing and analyzing data for the Blanca Wetlands wildlife program. Rachel currently works as an AIM Crew Lead in the San Luis Valley Field Office where she continues to develop skills in leadership, vegetation surveys, and soil classification. Rachel grew up in Santa Fe, New Mexico and spent multiple summers backpacking in southern Colorado where she developed a love for the outdoors.


Anju Mitchell

Archivist – Casper Field Office

My name is Anju Mitchell and I am a recent graduate from UCLA. I enjoy geography and traveling. In my spare time I like to read, craft, and cook.


Ashley Phillips

GIS Specialist – Eastern States Office

My name is Ashley Phillips, and I was born in Des Moines, Iowa. Whether participating in outdoor sports, horseback riding, volunteer work with animals, or hiking and fishing, I have always enjoyed spending time in nature. I attended the College of Saint Benedict | Saint John’s University, a liberal arts school in Minnesota, where I majored in Environmental Studies and also studied abroad for a semester in South Africa. My education fostered my interest in environmental policy at a local, state, federal, and even international level. I was Sustainability Representative for my school, participated in state conferences as part of a civic and public engagement program with my school, and attended the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP22) in Morocco. Perhaps most impactful, my junior year I interned on a natural resource management team for the Department of the Interior’s Office of Environmental Policy & Compliance in Washington, D.C working mostly with Environmental Justice and the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). Following that experience, I wrote my senior capstone thesis on NEPA. Thus it is fitting I am back in Washington, D.C. working with a NEPA planning team this summer as an Environmental Protection Specialist with the Bureau of Land Management, Eastern States Office. My internship this summer has tied many of my passions together from learning about the Wild Horse and Burro Program to advancing my knowledge of environmental policy, NEPA, and BLM’s multiple-use mission.


Stephanie Prevost

Natural Resource Specialist – Safford Field Office

Stephanie has been passionate about natural resources since her introduction to them in a high school environmental science course. Her passion led to a Bachelor of Science in Conservation Biology (2009) from Arizona State University. Upon graduation, Stephanie became a member of the Student Conservation Association where she worked alongside various federal land management agencies, gaining extensive field research experience in botany, wildlife science, and ecology. Her experience working with federal agencies, and their professionals, led her to pursue a federal career in wildlife biology and natural resources.

In 2016, Stephanie graduated from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, with a Master’s degree in Wildlife and Fisheries Science and a Minor in Statistics. As a graduate student, Stephanie worked collaboratively with university engineers and the U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center on a solution to studying avian populations in inaccessible areas. Loving such interdisciplinary work, Stephanie was excited to accept a DHA Natural Resource Specialist internship, where she is currently working with Wildlife Biologist, Mark McCabe, and a team of interdisciplinary scientists, on a wide variety of projects and NEPA documents. In both office and field, she is absorbing all she can from the entire interdisciplinary team and she hopes her internship will be a valuable contribution to the field office.

Stephanie’s life and career goals are to serve the public and the environment. She is dedicated to having a service attitude and leaving things (and places) at least a little better than how she found them. Stephanie is prepared to make a strong contribution to the BLM by bringing a diverse specialized skillset and a strong aptitude for teamwork, leadership, planning, and project management, all of which she developed over the course of several challenging positions. As a certified Associate Wildlife Biologist, Stephanie is now looking forward to another challenging position that involves a variety of wildlife projects as well as other natural resource issues.


Antonio Raya

Natural Resource Specialist – Casper Field Office

Antonio Raya is interning with the BLM as an Environmental Protection Specialist in the Casper, Wyoming Field Office. Antonio got his undergraduate degree in Exercise Science from St. Ambrose University, and is working on obtaining his Master’s degree in Recreation, Parks, and Tourism Administration with a focus on Natural Resource Management from Western Illinois University.

As an EPS working in the oil and gas industry, Antonio’s focus is on inspecting the final abandonment notices to insure proper final reclamation of the land. Antonio gets the opportunity to serve alongside individuals who have been doing this for many years and have been told that they continue to learn something new every day. Antonio is currently applying for federal jobs, specifically with the BLM.  “Even though I’ve only been here for a couple of weeks, I know that this is an agency that I would love to work for.”


Nathan Redecker

Natural Resource Specialist – Royal Gorge Field Office

Nathan Redecker received a Bachelor of Science in Wildlife and Conservation Biology in 2013 from Southeast Missouri State University where his passion for botany emerged. After graduation that passion grew as he worked with the BLM Colorado State Botanist for the next two years as an intern completing Seeds of Success collections and rare plant monitoring all across Colorado.  Afterwards, he continued his passion for botany and plant conservation by pursuing a Master’s of Science in Biology completing a thesis project entitled Genetic Investigation into the Diversity and Population Structure of Penstemon harringtonii (Harrington’s Beardtongue) in 2017.  After completing his Master’s, his passion for land management and plant conservation lead to this internship working in the BLM’s Assessment Inventory and Monitoring (AIM) program.  As the AIM crew lead at the BLM Royal Gorge Field Office, he leads a crew of two to randomly selected points all across the field office collecting data on soil characteristics, species composition, and vegetation structure.  In addition to the field component, Nathan educates his crew about the native flora and the overall joys of botanizing in the western states through the utilization of a dichotomous keys and his personal knowledge.


Tylia Varilek

Archaeologist – Richfield

Tylia Varilek is an archaeologist, who received her BA in anthropology for the University of Arizona in 2005 and earned her MA in Managing Archaeological Sites from University College London (UCL) in 2016.  Her archaeological experience includes work in Arizona, Minnesota, Nevada, a Roman bath complex in Tuscany, Italy, a medieval charnel house in Spitalfields, London, and now central Utah.  Throughout her career, she has worked as an archaeological technician, laboratory manager, conducted preservation and conservation work on archaeological sites, assisted with collections management, and recently designed an exhibit for a local historical society.  Outside of the archaeological profession, she enjoys hanging spoons on her nose, post-its, and pandas.


Roxanna Vaught-Mijares

Natural Resources Specialist – Nevada State Office

Roxanna loves going wherever the outdoors can take her and studying geology seemed to be the perfect fit. She spent part of her childhood living in Caracas, Venezuela before moving to South Florida where mountains, variable landscapes, or even whispers of the words “geology” were nowhere to be found. Despite this, she quickly fell in love with the subject at Florida State University where she completed her Bachelor’s degree. She is currently working on a Masters at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. At UL, she is researching the relationship between climate and human settlement in southern Peru through a geochemical analysis of sediments from different lakes.

Roxanna is incredibly excited to be interning at the BLM with the geothermal and oil and gas divisions. Getting the opportunity to live in and explore Reno is something she never expected and is enjoying every minute of it. On her spare time, Roxanna enjoys rowing, hiking, and spending time with other people’s dogs.


Akual Deng

Akual Deng

Petroleum Engineer – Washington D.C.

My name is Akual Deng, Graduated on May 2014 from West Virginia University with a bachelor degree in Petroleum and Natural Gas Engineering. I’m currently interning with the American Conservation Experience (ACE) as a Petroleum Engineer at the BLM Washington, DC office. I worked in Retail industry during my school years. Helping people is my passion, so I volunteer at the ESL office during the summer at Reynolds Community College help new ESL students in Virginia; also I was a coordinator for Miss South Sudan beauty Pageant in USA for three years. I love to travel and meet new people, learn new culture. I’m more of an outdoor person and a hard worker that’s why I chose to become a Petroleum Engineer. Life is meaning full when you work hard to achieve your goals.

Ryan Klausch

Ryan Klausch

Natural Resource Specialist – Bakersfield, CA

Ryan was born and raised in Racine, Wisconsin, and he was often reluctantly dragged outside to hike, camp, and enjoy the outdoors with his parents. The repeated exposure to nature eventually took hold and it became the defining aspect in his life. Ryan graduated with Bachelor of Science degrees in Wildlife Ecology and Environmental Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. As a student, he worked as a field assistant for a genetic study of Wisconsin’s turtles and as a ranger in northern Minnesota and the UW-Madison Arboretum. Unsure of what to focus on for an advanced degree, Ryan sought real-world work experience to develop professionally and narrow down research interests. With the assistance of the Student Conservation Association (SCA), he worked as a Dune Steward for the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation on the eastern shore of Lake Ontario, as a Natural Resources Associate for the U.S. Navy at Naval Air Station Pensacola on the Gulf of Mexico, and as a Sustainability Fellow at the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy, a non-profit organization working to restore Pittsburgh’s historic city parks.

Ryan is excited to contribute to the BLM’s multiple-use mission, to mitigate the impact of oil & gas development on our natural resources, and to assist oil & gas lessees in achieving regulatory compliance.

Tiera Arbogast

Tiera Arbogast

Natural Resource Specialist – Bakersfield, CA

Tiera is an American Conservation Experience (ACE) Natural Resource Specialist Intern at the BLM field office in Bakersfield, California. She is a North Carolina native with a strong interest in hiking and mountaineering. Prior to beginning her internship, Tiera completed a section hike of the Appalachian Trail where she traveled from Pine Grove, Pennsylvania to Baxter State Park in Maine.

In May of 2015, Tiera earned her Master of Natural Resources degree with a technical focus on Policy and Administration at North Carolina State University. While attending NC State, she worked as a Research Assistant where she assisted in quantitative and qualitative data collection on national and state forestry incentive programs. This research led to completion of a personal technical document, Taxation and other economic strategies that affect the sustainable management of forests.

Prior to graduate school, Tiera attended University of North Carolina at Greensboro, where she earned her Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Studies. While attending UNC Greensboro, Tiera completed internships with the UNC Greensboro Sustainability Office and Hanging Rock State Park in Danbury, North Carolina. As a Sustainability Intern, Tiera completed a user’s manual for the newly renovated and LEED certified Quad buildings on the UNC Greensboro campus. As a Park Ranger Intern, she assisted in completing a number of natural resource management projects at Hanging Rock State Park.

Kyle Prinster

Kyle Prinster

Realty Specialist – Tucson, AZ

Kyle grew up in Arizona where his love for the outdoors started at a young age. He attended Oregon State University in Corvallis, OR, graduating in June of 2014 with a Bachelors of Science in Natural Resources. Immediately after graduation, he moved to California and worked as a Forestry Technician on the Tahoe National Forest. By all accounts this was a wonderful experience that provided Kyle with important professional experience to help build off the education he received during his undergrad. Kyle now is currently back home in Tucson, AZ, working as a BLM Realty Specialist Intern with ACE. He hopes the practical experience he gains during his internship will propel him into a career of working on public lands. When he is not at work Kyle likes to hike, bike, swim and golf.

Renee Barker

Katie Kassander

Natural Resource Specialist – Milwaukee, WI

Katie graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in May 2105 with a Bachelor’s of Science in Conservation of Environmental Sciences and a Minor in Biology. She grew up just north of Milwaukee, Wisconsin on a horse farm. She currently resides and works in Milwaukee and is working out of the BLM Northeastern States District Office as a Natural Resources Intern. Currently, she is working towards creating a Land Management Plan for a handful of islands located in Wisconsin and Minnesota. Her passion for protecting the environment started early on in life. As a child, there was a particularly dry summer and she found herself digging holes in a marsh to create more space to ‘save the tadpoles’, demanding the help of her entire family. She finds herself happiest when outside and within nature. Therefore, it seems to go without saying that when she started pursue a higher education she wanted her career to involve what she was most passionate about. Doing what she loves as a career has been a dream of hers forever and she is delighted that it is becoming a reality.

Prior to her time at the BLM she spent a few years working with Alliance for the Great Lakes conducting beach surveys and coordinating beach cleanups. The work she did at the Alliance for the Great Lakes paved the way for a proficient monitoring program that is still implemented today. Her experience at Alliance for the Great Lakes and the Urban Ecology Center, both in Milwaukee, allowed her to gain a deeper understanding of the importance of monitoring both public and private lands. Additionally, she has experience writing Land Management Plans that focused on invasive species eradication and native species restoration. Katie also has a lot of experience educating the public on various environmental related issues and working with children. She spent several years volunteering at the Ozaukee Family Services and working with a variety of students there. It is her passion to continue to educate anyone and everyone on the importance of restoring our lands and maintaining them for years to come.

When Katie is not working she spends a lot of her time fishing. She frequents on hiking trails near and far often camping and going on extensive backpacking and canoe trips. On these many trips she find herself obsessing over learning as many plant species as she can. She is a member of the International Society of Arboriculture and in the future hopes to learn more about protecting trees and encouraging their longevity. Ultimately, Katie sees it as her life goal and purpose to continue to protect, preserve, and improve the environment.

Justina Thorsen

Justina Thorsen

Natural Resource Specialist – Las Cruces, NM

Justina was born and raised on the front range of Colorado, where she earned her Bachelor’s degree with a double major in Ecology and Photography from the University of Colorado, Boulder. In May 2014, Justina was awarded her Master’s degree in Conservation Leadership and Human Dimensions of Natural Resources from Colorado State University. As part of the innovative Conservation Leadership program, which is focused on collaboration, facilitation, conflict management and other social science skills needed for successful conservation, Justina spent a year living in Chiapas, Mexico where she took classes in Spanish and worked on her collaborative thesis project with local conservation partners.

Justina is a true trans-disciplinarian with wide-ranging interests and professional skills and she has worn many different hats working as a professional photographer, yoga instructor, Spanish teacher, executive assistant, crew member for a restoration ecology lab, and crew leader for a conservation corps. Additionally, Justina spent last summer working as an Ecologist surveying for and evaluating impacts to Special Status Plants at the BLM White River Field Office in Meeker, Colorado. Through her diverse work experiences, Justina has acquired wide-range of skills and demonstrated that she is able to excel both in the office and in the field.

In her free time, you might find Justina hiking, cycling, cooking, reading, taking a yoga class, visiting a botanic garden, or doing photography. Justina is currently working with the Abandoned Mine Lands program in Las Cruces, New Mexico and is excited to help restore the public lands and make them safer for recreationalists. A nature photographer at heart, and lover of beautiful landscapes, Justina is passionate about preserving the natural beauty and integrity of our public lands. From an ecological standpoint, Justina has a strong interest in working to protect special status species and in restoring disturbed and degraded lands to proper functioning condition. Justina is looking forward to a career in public service where she can work to protect and restore our lands and promote the sustainable use of natural resources.

Katherine Sparks

Katherine Sparks

Land Law Examiner, Milwaukee – WI

Katherine is a motivated scholar, eager to pursue a career with the Federal government. Katherine’s passion for government work is seeded in her upbringing as a true “Army Brat.” Growing up in two different countries and seven different states, it was not until her family received a station on the coastline of Fort Monroe, Virginia that Katherine sparked an interest for the outdoors. This interest would overtime grow into a passion and lead way into educational and professional goals.

Katherine received her Bachelor of Science in Environmental Economics and Policy and a Specialization in Environmental Studies in 2014 from Michigan State University (MSU). The large campus atmosphere challenged Katherine to develop a strong discipline for academics while delving into multiple environmental organizations and extracurriculars including Geography, Geology, Fisheries and Wildlife, and Scuba Diving. During her three and a half years at MSU Katherine completed a study abroad program in New Zealand focusing on “Environmental Consequences”, and a professional internship researching marine mammals/ pollution proximity aboard three ocean going vessels off the coast of Massachusetts and New Hampshire.

Her passion for environmental policy inspired her to take a giant leap in the summer of 2012, as she joined the United States Coast Guard Reserve. Katherine promoted from E1 to E4 Marine Science Technician while simultaneously completing her college degree and working a part time job at Michigan State University.

Katherine will pursue her career full speed ahead. She hopes to pursue a Masters degree online while working full time and developing professionally. As a current Land Law Examiner Intern with the Bureau of Land Management, it is her goal to gain practical knowledge from all facets of the organization. She will take every opportunity to learn in order to develop into a valuable asset for an environmentally focused team within the U.S. Department of Interior.

Brigid Grund

Brigid Grund

Archaeology/Anthropology – Keyesville, Bakersville, CA

A deep-seated interest in understanding human behavior in terms of historically particular cultural diversity as well as environmentally mediated optimality led Brigid towards a career in archaeology. Brigid is currently a Ph.D. Candidate in Anthropology (Archaeology) at the University of Wyoming. She received her Master’s in Anthropology from UW in 2012, and Bachelor’s degrees in Anthropology and Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from the University of Colorado in 2009. Since 2005, she has filled many roles including field archaeologist, GIS specialist, researcher, and undergraduate instructor for various institutions and at numerous prehistoric, historic, and ethnoarchaeological sites.

Brigid’s multidisciplinary research background has resulted in publications on evaluating the use of soil microorganisms for paleoclimatic reconstruction and dating at archaeological sites, assessing potential causes for the end-Pleistocene extinction event in North America, and the interpretation of radiocarbon dates. Currently, Brigid is working on developing a new microbial method for identifying (pre)historic activity areas, exploring the cause(s) and social implications of the shift from atlatl to bow-and-arrow technology, spatial modeling of a buffalo jump site, and introducing statistical methods for evaluating the shape and duration of technological transitions using imprecise, non-normally distributed radiocarbon date calibrations.

Over the years, Brigid’s archaeological projects have brought her to Wyoming, Colorado, Montana, New Mexico, South Africa, Mongolia, Egypt, and now Bakersfield/Keysville, California! Brigid is particularly excited for this opportunity to confront challenges in managing archaeological resources and interact with public stakeholders given the sheer volume of disparately motivated and multifocal interest groups in the region.

Bridget Guiza

Bridget Guiza

NEPA Planner – Farmington, NM

Bridget is a graduate planning student at The University of Arizona’s College of Architecture, Planning, and Landscape Architecture. Her interests are at the intersection of sustainable agriculture and food systems, preventive medicine, ecological restoration, and the adaptation of science and policy for local and regional planning.

Bridget is a native from Los Angeles, CA and a graduate of the University of California, San Diego with a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Systems. After graduating she served as an AmeriCorps VISTA (volunteer in service to America) in Northfield, Minnesota where she worked on a local food systems model and did community outreach and communications for the nonprofit, Main Street Project.

Bridget is currently interning at the BLM Farmington office as a NEPA Planner.

Joel Miner

Joel Miner

Natural Resource Specialist – Palm Springs, CA

Joel is a native of Western Washington but moved to Southern California after graduating from Wheaton College with a B.S. in Biology in 2014. He is passionate about restoring degraded ecosystems and helping people get outside and enjoy nature. Working to restore America’s public lands is an ideal job for him; he gets the opportunity to work outside, meet the public, and ensure the flora and fauna are well taken care of. At the BLM Dos Palmas Preserve, near the Palm Springs field office, he is monitoring and restoring marsh habitat managed for several endangered species including Desert Pupfish and Yuma Clapper rail. When he is not defending the environment you can find him baking, brewing, reading, backpacking, kayaking, or birding.

Laura Brodhead

Laura Brodhead

Forest Ecologist – Redding, CA

Laura graduated from Duke University in 2013 with a Bachelors degree in Environmental Science. While at school, she loved learning about conservation and ecology all over the world, from the savannas of South Africa to the forests of North Carolina. After graduating, Laura has been travelling around the country and world gaining experience in land management and ecology research. Working in the western states with the Bureau of Land Management has been a particular favorite – camping and exploring all that our public lands have to offer. Currently, she is working in Redding, California as a forest ecologist for the BLM where she gets to spend time hiking around the beautiful forests of northern Califronia and call that her “job”.

Jacob Palma

Jacob Palma

Recreation Specialist – Carson City, NV

Jake has dedicated his educational and professional career to helping underrepresented populations find a voice in natural resource management. He is currently finishing up a Master’s in Recreation Resource Management at Utah State University where he is helping the Forest Service understand Hispanic recreation patterns and behaviors in the Central Wasatch Mountains around the Salt Lake metropolitan area. Jake also has spent the past 8 months working with a nonprofit organization that seeks to bring Native American values to public land management decisions in Southeast Utah. He also holds a Master’s in Public Administration and a Bachelor’s degree in American Studies (English, history, political science). Jake, his wife (Kelleen), and two kids (Kaylie – 2.5 years, Carson – 10 months) live in Alpine, Utah, but look forward to the future opportunities wherever life with BLM sends them.

Daniel Kasang

Daniel Kasang

Recreation Specialist – Palm Springs, CA

Daniel grew up in Massachusetts where he learned to appreciate the outdoors, recreation, primitive skills, conservation, and the proper pronunciation of Worcester. He graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Studies from the University of Southern California. Currently, Daniel is working for ACE at the BLM Palm Springs – South Coast Field Office for the Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains National Monument. Daniel has a variety of experience that includes grant writing, environmental document preparation, public outreach and interpretation, trails maintenance, development of scientific protocols, and vegetation management.

Sara Manley

Sara Manley

Recreation Specialist – Bishop, CA

Sara is a native Oregonian, and recently graduated from Oregon State University with both a degree in Earth Sciences, concentrating in Geography, and a GIS certificate. Her interest in human–environment interactions has guided her career toward environmental stewardship. Sara is a natural leader, and loves to share her passion of the outdoors with others. She has previously worked with the Washington Conservation Corps, and the Student Conservation Association before her internship with ACE. She is very excited to gain practical experience in land and recreation management with her current position as a Recreation Specialist at the BLM Bishop field office in California.

Caroline Martin

Caroline Martin

Natural Resource Specialist – Las Cruces, NM

Caroline grew up in Longmeadow, Massachusetts and has always loved animals and being outdoors. She is a 2015 graduate of the University of Massachusetts Amherst where she studied Natural Resource Conservation and Biology. She became interested in conservation at a young age and educated herself on many issues, but pursued it formally during her academic career. Caroline hopes to pursue a Master’s Degree in Policy and Administration in the future and make positive change in the way natural resources are managed.

In addition to working for the American Conservation Experience at the Bureau of Land Management, Caroline enjoys playing volleyball, hiking, kayaking, and exploring new cities. Her internship for ACE and the BLM will help her become more familiar with the NEPA process and give her more experience authoring these documents, as well as experience in the field. Caroline is currently working in the Las Cruces, New Mexico office in the Abandoned Mine Lands program where she will be helping to close abandoned mines as well as writing NEPA documents (specifically Categorical Exclusions) so that more can be closed in the future.

Freddy Duluc

Freddy Duluc

Land Law Examiner – Milwaukee, WI

Freddy Duluc is a young and upcoming Petroleum and Natural Gas Engineer, born in the Dominican Republic. As a young boy, he came to the United States and grew up in New York City. He played many sports including soccer, tennis, fencing, racket ball, dodge ball, football, baseball, and his favorite: basketball. His first job at age 14 was as a Police Athletic Coach for the kids. On his senior year of high school he and his family moved to Hazleton, Pennsylvania. He graduated from Hazleton Area High School and went on to college. In May of 2012 he graduated from Luzerne County Community College with an Associated in Liberal Arts with a focus in Business. He felt he could do more that administrative work and went on to The Pennsylvania State University to pursue a bachelor’s degree in Engineering. After completing freshman year, he decided to pursue a bachelor’s degree in Alternative Energy Engineering. He thought it was the way of the future and it would very profitable. After sophomore year however, Freddy decided to pursue non-renewable energy instead. He very much enjoyed learning about oil and gas with the highlights being: methods to extract it, how to find it, and some of the uses for oil and gas and their bi-products. Through his Geology courses, he obtained information that helps make adjustments to drilling plans, production observations and especially all the analysis done by the reservoir engineer.

Freddy is currently doing a BLM internship in Milwaukee Wisconsin as a Land Law Examiner. This internship is relevant to his interests because he gets to inspect land deeds and rights. This is important because you always need consent before you extract minerals. Through the internship, Freddy will have the opportunity to visit mine sites. He is very excited about this aspect of the position because it will helm him visualize what is going on underneath the surface. Another great phase of the internship is his involvement with the Petroleum Engineering working for BLM in the Wisconsin office.

Outside of that, Freddy has been given the task of mapping out some areas in Pennsylvania area. BLM does not have these maps, and with the knowledge acquired from school. Some of the skills that will be used are; Gamma Ray log readings, Porosity log readings, Bulk density readings etc. Freddy believes he will be able to accomplish all of his goals and gain a lot of information on the Petroleum Field.

Alisha Autio

Alisha Autio

Natural Resource Specialist – Tulsa, OK

Growing up in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, Alisha spent much of her youth exploring the forests and wetlands of the northern Midwest – deriving her understanding of regional natural history as she worked alongside her father, a logger and arborist, to observe harvesting practices and landscape functioning. Later, she earned a B.S. in Applied Ecology & Environmental Science from Michigan Technological University and an M.S. in Forest Resources from the University of Maine. Afterwards, she worked as an Environmental Scientist on wind power projects in Maine. In her spare time, Alisha enjoys research, hiking, reading and working as a freelance technical writer. Through this internship based out of BLM office in Tulsa, OK, she gains practical experience in environmental policy while remaining a “boots on the ground” kind of gal. ”

Somer Shaw

Somer Shaw

Archaeology/Anthropology – San Joaquin River Gorge, Bakersfield, CA

Somer graduated from California State University, Fresno with a BA in Anthropology, MA in Education. Somer’s previous work experience includes natural resource and interpretive work for BLM, directing youth services for a non-profit Urban Indian Health Project under Indian Health Services and recently served as co-director/lecturer for the Native American Partnership for CSU Fresno’s Kremen School of Education. Her children (Maya – age 3 and Rowan – age 1), Native heritage and love of nature, having grown up in the foothills of Central California, inspires her to connect youth to the outdoors and California’s rich cultural heritage.
“I’m very excited to be representing ACE at BLM’s San Joaquin River Gorge and working to further the sites cultural heritage education mission. The Gorge is beautiful and I feel truly blessed to be doing work that I love.”

Tyler Morrison

Tyler Morrison

Natural Resource Specialist – NOC Denver, CO

Tyler is currently working for the BLM at their National Operation Center, assisting them with a plan to effectively communicating the intent and utility (and in some cases the existence of) their Assessment, Inventory & Monitoring (AIM) strategy. The BLM’s desire to understand and manage resources at a landscape scale requires a consistent set of methods and indicators for monitoring health and function across that landscape, as well as a scaleable sampling design, easily accessible and centrally located data, and integration with remote sensing. There are economic, temporal and institutional barriers to implementing AIM and I look forward to talking with BLM staff, from field specialists and managers to state and national directors, on how to diffuse this innovative strategy.

Tyler is currently working towards a graduate degree, a Master in Environmental Management (Integrative Land Management track), at Western State Colorado University in Gunnison. Field and classroom curriculum centers around the skills necessary to understand and facilitate the integration of land, water, energy, wildlife and human societies; the integration of public and private land decisions; and the integration of the wildland-urban interface to manage diverse stakeholder values and interests toward sustainable and resilient environmental relationships. Working across boundaries, finding unlikely partners and reducing conflict are focal points as well. It has been a transformative year to say the least.

Prior to that, he did some biological, cultural and compliance monitoring on large renewable energy projects. He’s studied burrowing owls and flat-tailed horned lizards in southern California, wetlands and waterways in west Texas, raptors and golden eagles in eastern Colorado, desert tortoises in Nevada, and dead birds in all of those places. He’s been more interested lately in living birds (Gunnison sage-grouse) and large-scale disturbances to the forests of western Colorado via sudden aspen decline and those pesky beetles (where’s Yoko when you need her?) He is broadly interested in how uses of public lands interact with each other and how land agencies plan for and realize sustained multiple use.

His personal use of our public lands includes recreational (hiking, cross-country skiing, canoeing, bird-watching), spiritual (long walks in the park anyone?) and extractive (hunting, fishing, wood-cutting, photography). In addition, he enjoys annoying his family (wife, dog and cat), reading, watching and playing hockey, attending conferences and meetings, growing food and talking to strangers.

Jaime Kennedy

Jaime Kennedy

Archaeology/Anthropology – Roseburg, OR

Jaime is currently a PhD candidate in the Anthropology Department at the University of Oregon. Jaime’s lifelong interest in anthropology became a full-fledged academic pursuit while she was an undergraduate at the University of Arizona. For the past 15 years, she has been actively involved in California and Oregon archaeology. Her doctoral research investigates the deep history of human-environmental interactions in the northern Great Basin through the analysis of archaeological botanical remains, including seeds, charcoal, starch and pollen. She received an interdisciplinary MS degree from the University of Oregon in 2008. Throughout her graduate career, Jaime has worked as a research assistant/archaeologist for the Research Division of the UO Museum of Natural and Cultural History. In addition to archaeological research, she teaches courses at the university, including Hunter-Gatherer Archaeology, North American Archaeology, and Food Origins.

Jaime is dedicated to responsible cultural resource management and heritage preservation. Last year, she co-authored the nomination to add the Paisley Caves archaeological site to the National Register of Historic Places. She regularly presents her research at professional conferences and has published collaboratively in peer-reviewed journals with high impact factors. She is also the Treasurer of the Association of Oregon Archaeologists.

Christopher Wenman

Christopher Wenman

Natural Resource Specialist – Farmington, NM

Chris Wenman is currently pursuing a Master’s of Science degree in Geophysics at Colorado State University, after previously graduating from the same institution in 2013 with a Bachelor’s of Science in Geology. His M.Sc. thesis research is focused on subsurface mapping using applied geophysical methods in West Antarctica. He has presented his research at the Geological Society of America (GSA) and American Geophysical Union (AGU) 2014 annual meetings and co-authored three additional abstracts for presentation at meetings. Chris has been involved with Colorado State University’s Little Shop of Physics “Weather and Science Day” educational outreach program, where he designed and implemented geophysical demonstrations to teach K-12 students concepts of physics related to Earth processes. He also was a teaching assistant during Colorado State’s Geologic Field Camp capstone course for undergraduate students in 2015.

Chris became passionate about exploration, development, production and management of mineral resources (oil and natural gas) during his undergraduate education after completing an internship with the petroleum industry as a geologist. He is currently working for the Bureau of Land Management Farmington Field Office as a Natural Resources Specialist intern where he is responsible for inspecting plugged and abandoned oil and gas wells, determining necessary reclamation activities, working with operators and BLM specialists to complete reclamations, and making recommendations on issuing a Final Abandonment Notice for the well.

Forrest Mayer

Forrest Mayer

Natural Resource Specialists – Roswell, NM

Forrest Mayer grew up in Sacramento, CA and has loved the Sierra Nevada east of Sacramento from a young age. It was that environment in which he was first exposed to the mountains and all the treasures, cultural and natural, held within. He attended Jesuit High School, a rigorous college preparatory school in Carmichael, CA, and then continued on to The University of the South in Sewanee, TN. At Sewanee, Forrest found his calling in the natural resources field as he immersed himself in forestry, geology, and ancillary environmental classes, eventually graduating Magna Cum Laude with a B.S in Natural Resources and Certificate of Watershed Science.

Prior to this position in Roswell, Forrest worked with the BLM in El Centro, CA completing several large signing projects and documenting illegal off-route travel. This position was his first exposure to the agency and proved to reaffirm his desire of future permanent employment. Having finished a six month position working in the forestry industry in Mobile, AL, Forrest is excited to be back with the BLM and hopes to have a tangible effect on the backlog of projects facing the minerals staff in Roswell. His long term goal is to become a geologist for the BLM and work on the permitting process for new mineral extractions as well as landscape remediation after the fact.

In addition to his career pursuits, Forrest has been a competitive swimmer since the age of four. He placed second in the 100-yard breaststroke at the Southern Athletic Association conference championship, finishing off his collegiate experience with a career best. Forrest also enjoys fly fishing, four-wheeling, and shooting, but above all, is taken by the western landscape and considers himself blessed to be able to work, live, and play in this area of the country.

Brad Houk

Brad Houk

Petroleum Engineer Technician – Cadillac, MI

Brad Houk grew up in the small town of Crooksville, Ohio. His mother and step father owned one hundred and thirty five acre wooded farm, where he enjoyed hunting, fishing, mushroom hunting, and just about any other outdoor activity he could get into. At a young age Brad became passionate about football and started offense and defense on the CHS varsity football team as a junior and senior. As a senior he was recognized by the Muskingum Valley League as being an all-league player with an honorable mention from OHAA.

After graduation he enrolled at West Liberty State University business program. While playing football as freshman he sustained a knee injury. The injury was not a major reconstruction but made him rethink his priorities about playing football. He finished up the year at West Liberty State University and transferred to Ohio University Zanesville.

The summer between his sophomore and junior year he was hired by Rockwell International in Heath, Ohio. The job was only supposed to be for the summer but the company extended the offer for full time employment. Being a broke college student he decided to accept the offer with the thoughts of going back to college at a later date. Twenty years later the company that he worked for informed their employees that within nine months all the work would be moved out and the plant would be shutting down.

Feeling no ill will, Brad determined that he would finish what he started years ago and obtain a degree. Brad reviewed his options and decided to enroll at Zane State College and study Oil and Gas Engineering Technology. He finished his employment with Meritor (formally Rockwell) on July 18th 2014 and by August 17th 2014 he was a full time college student.

While at Zane State he has been focusing on oil and gas well drilling, oil and gas production, and the geology of the state. While in his first year at Zane State he applied for PHI Theta Kappa and was accepted into the program. He was thrilled when the BLM offered the internship in Cadillac, and without disappointment the field experience has been awesome for him!

Jack Savage

Jack Savage

Research Engineer – Farmington, NM

Jack Savage, an eighth generation Texan and an Eagle Scout with a passion for the outdoors, grew up in Dallas, Texas. He first became interested in the outdoors during frequent stints spent at Big Bend National Park as a boy. As a young man, Jack discovered he was a natural mathematician and had an intense curiosity in science and the natural world. Jack focused on finding a profession in which he could combine his math and science talents with his love for the environment and the outdoors. He realized that what he wanted to become was both a geologist and an engineer, and after this revelation he found his niche.

Jack graduated from the University of Texas at Austin in 2014 with a Bachelor of Science in Geosystems Engineering and Hydrogeology and acquired his EIT (Engineer-­‐In-­‐ Training) certificate in early 2015. The knowledge he gained during his career as a student gave him the tools to pursue an engineering career. His new skillset led him to Midland, Texas where he worked as a Petroleum Engineering Intern for Endeavor Energy Resources. There he discovered the toughness it took to work as a field engineer. Jack was constantly in the field overseeing production, operations, completions, and hydraulic fracturing jobs. He gained a wealth of knowledge on the dynamics of subsurface fluid flow and oil and gas production. In addition, he developed a desire to direct his life down a path associated with his two greatest passions: sustaining the environment and conserving natural resources.

For the second time in his life, Jack found his niche. He now works for the Bureau of Land Management as a Petroleum Engineering Intern in Farmington, New Mexico located in the beautiful San Juan Basin. When he is not hiking, camping, or marveling at his awe-­‐inspiring surroundings, Jack reviews APD’s (Application for Permit to Drill), P&A’s (Plug & Abandonment), and Completions reports to verify the oil and gas operators’ compliance with governmental regulations. This ensures the integrity of wells and proper procedure of drilling operations in order to protect groundwater-­‐bearing formations. By protecting these geological formations, Jack aids in protecting the environment and conserving natural resources that provide energy for the southwest region of the United States of America.

Jack hopes to continue his work as a full-­‐time petroleum engineer with the BLM in addition to attaining a Master’s Degree in Business Administration. Jack also aspires to attain his PE (Professional Engineer) license in the next five years.

Courtney Carlson

Courtney Carlson

Archaeology/Anthropology – Roswell, NM

Courtney is the American Conservation Experience (ACE) Archaeology Intern at the BLM Roswell Field Office in New Mexico. Previously, Carlson worked as the ACE Old Spanish Trail Intern for the Archaeologist at the BLM Barstow Field Office in California. As the Old Spanish Trail Intern, Carlson participated in all activities related to the Old Spanish Trail. This included pedestrian survey, collecting and arraying Geographic Information System (GIS) data, completing site record forms, and completing a nomination for the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP). Carlson also attended public events and meetings about the Old Spanish Trail, delivered presentations to the public in person and on video, and developed and presented “Identifying Traces of the Old Spanish Trail” for the poster session of the 2015 Society for California Archaeology (SCA) meeting.

In May of 2014, Carlson earned her Master of Arts degree in Applied Anthropology from Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, Arizona. In addition to coursework, Carlson completed a three-month summer internship with the Arizona State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO). At the SHPO, Carlson worked on completing nominations for the NRHP for segments of the historic Route 66 corridor. Her thesis, “National Identity, Route 66, and the National Register of Historic Places,” explores why people value Route 66 and how the NRHP contributes to its preservation.

Before beginning graduate school, Carlson worked as a Student Conservation Association (SCA) Archaeology Intern for the Goosenest Ranger District of the Klamath National Forest in northern California. As an archaeology intern, Carlson conducted pedestrian survey, participated in several excavations, completed site record forms, and created maps in ArcMap.

In May of 2012, Carlson earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Anthropology, with a minor in Spanish and a concentration in Archaeology, from Colorado State University, Fort Collins. As a member of the University Honors Program, Carlson wrote and presented the research paper “Cahuilla and !Kung Settlement Patterns and Subsistence.” In addition, she attended two archaeology field schools. In the summer of 2011, she attended the California State University, San Bernardino, and archaeology field school in the San Bernardino National Forest of southern California. In 2009, she attended the Colorado State University, Fort Collins, archaeology field school in Soapstone Prairie Natural Area and Red Mountain Open Space.

Sarah Scott

Sarah Scott

GIS Specialist – NOC Denver, CO

Sarah Scott, an enthusiastic environmentalist, grew up in Denmark, WI – a small rural town just south of Green Bay. The outdoors called to her every day, and so she spent every minute she could outside growing up. Her usual spot was the pond down the street, where she could often be seen observing the amphibian populations. As a result, she developed an interest in herpetology, and considers herself an amateur herpetologist. Due to her love of amphibians, as well as the intricacies of ecosystems, she plans on contributing to the decision making process for sustainable land use. Sarah graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Platteville in May 2013 with a major in biology and a minor in environmental science, in addition to completing a series of GIS and cartography courses from UW-Madison. All of these experiences will help her to achieve her goals.

Before the BLM internship, Sarah was a research technician and lead for the monitoring of trout habitat for Trout Unlimited in Southwest Wisconsin for two summers. It was an intensive position that saw the research from start to finish. She was responsible for deciding what locations to sample, process all the samples, analyze, and report on the findings. The locations included post restoration sites on farmland, and some of the findings, especially on trout diets, were fascinating. She gained valuable insight into land use and restoration effects. She presented these findings in three separate presentations; one included a conference at the University. In addition, she worked at UW-Madison’s cartography lab working with clients and creating their desired maps. These maps ranged from history projects, to bike rack locations, to watering locations along trails in Senegal. She believes that maps can be an incredibly powerful tool for presenting vital information and can help lead people to better decisions.

Although quiet and shy, Sarah loves conversing with others. She has found that she gains valuable insight with virtually every conversation she has. If it weren’t for conversing, she would not have discovered the environmental opportunities that she has had the pleasure of participating in; opportunities such as helping with prescribing burning for the International Crane Foundation, teaching students about threats to amphibians for field courses, and assisting with dendrochronilogical research on natural fragmentation in Sweden. This internship is a turning point after years of studying and training, which will provide the opportunity to put her skills and knowledge to use and gain more of these skills for the next part of her life.