While living in a small village in Mexico, the sight and stench of dead cows was a constant reminder of how limited natural resources are. The economy for this community was farming and ranching, yet, I rarely saw crops being harvested and the cows that were living looked more like skeletons. The village suffered from a constant lack of water and proper ecosystem management. When the rains would come, the water would quickly disappear, leaving people and the environment to produce something which could not be done sustainably.
Seeing this first hand, and having other interests in this context, led me to study environmental issues at Southern Oregon University. I recently graduated from SOU with a bachelor's degree in Environmental Studies with an emphasis in Social Science and Policy. During my undergraduate education I have learned of environmental issues far worse than what I witnessed in Mexico. Yet, my education has instilled a hope and created opportunities showing how communities can live sustainably with forest ecosystems. I have had the opportunity to work as a student liaison between SOU and the Ashland Forest Lands Commission, conduct a social assessment of watershed stakeholders, explore options for community-based monitoring in the Ashland watershed, and become associated with local forestry stakeholders.
I hope to further my education in graduate school studying forest ecosystem management. I have learned that it's the values of a community that shape the policies governing the landscape. It is my long term goal to understand what societies' values are and implement them into ecosystem management. I'm sure the village in Mexico once thrived with fat cattle and plentiful crops just as the Pacific Northwest thrives in natural resources. I aspire to insure the forest resources utilized in the Pacific Northwest will be around for all generations to come.
Mentor: Dr. Mark Shibley
- Curriculum Vitae
- Community Based Monitoring in the Ashland Watershed, a Role for SOU? 2009 SOAR Presentation: Abstract and Photo
- Evaluating the Social Assessment of Natural Resource Management McNair 2009 Symposium Slide Presentation
Evaluating the Social Assessment of Natural Resource Management (Requires Flash Player)