The summer (and ensuing fall) that I spent working with KWF proved to be the most influential period of my life both professionally and personally. Being surrounded by people so inspired to work for a resource that means so much to this ecosystem, economy, and the culture of this area shed some hope onto the impact that a small motivated group of people can have on an area they care about.
From a purely professional standpoint I developed more skills in the few months that I spent in Soldotna than I had in years prior. Performing extensive GIS projects, intense field work, grant writing, and gaining an understanding of how to work with people to maximize effectiveness (and maintain sanity) spurred my career development far more than any other job/internship I had previously had. Equally as important to all of that however, is the growth as a person I experienced. The people that I met (and you’ll have the pleasure of working with) are the warmest I’ve interacted with in my entire life and recognize the struggles that can come with being thousands of miles from home. The sense of community on the Kenai Peninsula is unlike anything I’ve experienced before, and allowed me to grow as a person in a highly transitional time in my life.
Working as an intern for the Kenai Watershed Forum shaped who I am today, as well as what I am looking for in the future. It provides the opportunity to do work that matters with good people, and frankly, for me, there’s not much out there that can top that.