Meet Our Staff
Meet the Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie staff! Find full career interviews where we discuss our jobs, career paths, and helpful advice for getting involved with the Forest Service.
"As a wildlife technician, ninety-plus percent of my time was spent outside doing field work. Working in northern California, I remember going out early in the morning or late at night and hooting for spotted owls. I would sit there under the trees and watch them."
“I did not start out with a plan to work for a public land management agency. I had an opportunity to interview for, and got, an internship with the Forest Service during my senior year... After graduation, I was offered a job doing permitting for many different activities –recreation events, powerlines, commercial filming, research stations, roads, communication towers, and lots more."
“During the school year, I’d work for a museum doing curation, interpretive work, and field work. During the summers, I would work for the Bureau of Land Management or the Forest Service… I liked the field work, I liked being outside. I really just enjoyed being a dirt bag... The lifestyle—it’s fun. I got to work all over the west. I got paid to hike, and I did that in a lot of weird, remote, and really cool places.”
“I grew up in a small city. My family did not spend time outdoors hiking or camping, so it was through going to the zoo, aquarium and park, and watching nature shows that fostered my love for animals.
I did not initially know about nor want to be a fisheries biologist…While in college studying biology and thinking I wanted to be a wildlife biologist, the Forest Service came to recruit for various positions and I was offered an internship position in fisheries. I completed the internship during summers while I was working toward my degree.”
“For those that are intrigued by the idea of working outside or in the environmental sector, but have internal ‘question marks,’ I would keep an open mind. Be curious, be brave. In my experience, just one season—four months of your life—can make a huge impact.”
“Volunteering is great way to get experience, especially if you can’t afford to take an unpaid internship in the summer. A lot of people can’t afford to not work, so volunteering can allow you to get experience without having to give up your ability to make money elsewhere. It might seem intimidating to cold call or email people, but don’t be nervous. From my experience being on the other end, I’m always excited to hear from someone interested in the field.”
"I began as a “frontliner,” information assistant. The job gave me an opportunity to go on day hikes and even backpacking for the first time, in order to learn about the National Forest and public lands. And I kind of just fell in love with the work."
“I still remember when I worked on the Tongass National Forest in Alaska. It was one of the most amazing experiences I’ve ever had. I’d get helicopter rides out to remote islands and just get dropped off (with the grizzly bears), take floatplanes or boats out to all my field sites. It was so remote and beautiful.”
"I was lucky enough to be introduced to the field through some really cool classes. My [advisor] helped me a get a job the summer after my freshman year in college as a botany technician. Working for a land management agency had never been on my radar before."
"As social scientists, we try to understand how systems work and why they work the way they work—mainly focusing on people... Having a better understanding of what in people connects them to natural resources has been a real eye opener for me. How can we find our common interests and see how we might move forward together?"
"I am often dispatched to different forests throughout the nation to support their prevention patrols. Sometimes when I’m driving around or patrolling a campground or a trail, I take a moment to think, 'Wow I actually get to work while doing this'."
"It’s important to get out there and try a bunch of different things and get different perspectives. Look for mentors. One of the things that was valuable for me was volunteering as the president of a nonprofit board. I got to know a lot of people and grow a network throughout the state."
“Try it out. I can only say from experience that once you’re out there, it’s worthwhile. It makes a big difference when you can actually see the impacts of your work and how grateful people are that you’re out there doing it.”