I have had an amazing experience working at the San Juan Islands National Monument (SJI NM) for the last six months. During this project, I’ve been lucky enough to work with incredibly passionate competent people in a breathtaking location. I have been given the freedom to by and large design and implement a monitoring project (with heaps of guidance of course) and the help, guidance and support to make that project possible.
Over the last six months, I have been working in the small office of the San Juan Islands National Monument, located on Lopez Island, WA and consisting of two full time employees and two seasonals. Working in such a close environment with the recreation planner and monument manager gave me a better understanding of land management. Though I had less access to botany staff and wildlife biologists, each day at the office I marveled at the communication skills, level headedness, perseverance and adaptability of the monument team as well as the incredible care, understanding, and enthusiasm each of them used when working with the community and partners.
Because we were such a small team, I was able to help out with public engagement on a few instances. Though presenting and public speaking has never been a strong suit of mine, I am incredibly happy I have gotten to practice and increase my confidence.
This position has taught me about working with others and has given me the confidence to work by myself. It also allowed me to make valuable connections with people part of the San Juan Islands conservation community and the BLM.
I am working the SJI NM next year starting a Seeds of Success program on the islands. I have been sugesting this program to the office for the past few months and our monument manager made it happen. I am very excited for a new project but to be working with the same brilliant people.