The benefits of variety

Courtesy photo Kamryn Kozisek, left, helps Adrienne Kirkwood take water samples.

Variety is good, no matter what you are doing. It is good to spend time learning different things or trying new hobbies. Variety is also good in the professional world; it helps you not to get burnt out doing too much of the same thing.

As someone who is just entering the professional world at the Sublette County Conservation District, my current position as the natural resource technician is perfect for that. I get to experience working with all of our different programs and see how each functions.

Each of our programs teaches me something new about natural resources. So far I have been able to help with surface water sampling, which is not something that I got to experience in college. Along with surface water, I have been able to observe E.Coli sampling, which can be a complex process. It has been really cool to observe and compare the results even over only the last month and a half.

The range program is one that I have a bit more experience in, through previous temporary jobs and college courses. That being said, it is also good to see new processes for sampling and analyzing data. It also taught me some new plants and tricks for telling them apart.

The wildlife program has taught me a lot, especially when it comes to things like mesic structures. I had never heard of beaver dam analogues or Zeedyk structures before I started working at the conservation district. The idea of using low-tech restoration for erosion control is really interesting and it is amazing how soon you start to see them working.

A big job that I have started doing is fencing inventories, which despite sometimes being a lot of work have been really fun. I find it enjoyable knowing that Sublette County is one of the best counties for wildlife-friendly fencing. I watched videos on this county in school having to do with wildlife-friendly fencing, so it has been really fun to be a part of that process.

The other program that I have been able to help with is our education and outreach program. I got to help with Sublette County Pal Days and Arbor Day and work on our newsletter. I love working with kids in nature and also spending time sending out information.

Variety is also important when working with different people everyday, especially when you are just learning a job. Getting to work with not only different people from the conservation district but also our partners from the NRCS, Forest Service, ranchers and others allows me to see different perspectives. It also provides a way for me to learn how different people handle problems and come up with solutions.

That being said, I am glad to have a lot of variety in my job and have the opportunity to learn a lot from different people.