I have had the honor of coming to work with KWF this summer through a fully funded opportunity with the Jeannette K. Watson Fellowship, and in doing so, have had the opportunity to live a wildly unimaginable version of my dreams.
Everything I do revolves around the desire to be in, work with, advocate for, and preserve Nature, and unite people in conservation efforts. In the past few years I have been diving deep into using visual storytelling as a tool to move these efforts forward. It was my greatest hope for this summer that I might be able to apply my work in multimedia to a meaningful internship experience with an environmental organization whose values would align with mine. Finding KWF purely by fate in my search for such a match was the best that could have happened. Not only did I get to immerse myself in the gift of an Alaskan summer, but I have been continuously fulfilled by the opportunity to contribute to KWF’s work with Stream Watch, Invasives, Water Quality, community outreach and more. It has been tremendously impactful to experience such a variety of environmental work; I have been able to go out into the field in the swamps with my camera, meet dedicated members of KWF volunteer community, design graphics for distribution and public education, and collect both written and visual stories to highlight KWF’s unfaltering efforts to preserve and protect the health of the waters of the Kenai Peninsula.
I am eternally grateful for my time at the Kenai Watershed Forum, and for KWF being such an incredible example of what working together for betterment of the environment should look like. Within KWF I have found a flourishing spirit of community, a true reverence for the landscape, wildlife, and people, and a persevering attitude of inclusion that strives to unite all with the common goal of protecting the health of the Kenai Peninsula’s waters and resources. The genuine appreciation of the natural landscape and its resources that Alaskans and the KWF hold is greatly inspiring, and I am excited to take that perspective with me and apply it to my future work. Thank you, KWF, for this once in a lifetime opportunity dream come true!