Saturday, September 20, 2008

Longmire SCA Intern Greg Carstens wins award from Americorps

From guest blogger Greg Carstens:

Hi Everyone,

Well, the summer is basically done for me but I do look for a few fall hours out there and I can hardly wait until the new Jackson Visitors Center is open. Ironically the center will be opening on October 10th just one day before my birthday. I really have to wonder if some of the folks doing the planning knew about that date because I know I did mention it to Darin Swinney the park's GIS specialist at Longmire at least once. It could be possible I guess that he relayed that information to Dave Uberuaga. Well, maybe. No matter what happens in my future I look forward to continuing to serve the National Park Service out of the new building.

Ok as you all pretty much know by now or have heard over the summer at one time or another, I was a natural resources planning intern at Longmire under the direct supervision of Darin Swinney. This program was originally assigned to me through the Student Conservation Association. Within this program I had a chance to do something really special for the park and a great chance to be rewarded by an outstanding organization called Americorps. At the beginning of the season I was told I had to not only finish my project but also had to total 450 hours of service. I finished with 476 hours and all total for this year in the park I racked up 532 hours and lifetime so far I am at 626 which includes service at Yellowstone National Park. By August 31st. it was all pretty academic and the other day I received a confirmation from the Student Conservation Association that I will receive me award of $1,280.00 which will enable me to pay for a whole quarter of tuition at Pierce College. Nice huh? My Mom's eyes really lit up when I told her that I will receive this award.

For a few years now I wanted to make a impact within the park and perhaps begin a little bit of legacy. I still remember telling Kevin Bacher how I wanted to just obliterate my hours total I had last year in 2007. Yes I did that. I also helped out putting together some data that was much needed for Darin Swinney. I still had time to meadow rove for Kevin Bacher and also I made a great impression on Julia Pinnix as well as helped out a long time friend once again who was one of my high school teachers in the past. Thank you Jim Ross for giving me chance to work at the fair again this year.

In closing I will say this. For several years I had many who were skeptics in what I could or could not do but my true to belief in my heart is if you have the passion to build a goal it is likely you will achieve it especially if that passion is strong. Never let anyone tell you that can not do something if you never had a chance to do it.

Thanks for a great summer everyone and I hope to see you this fall.

Greg Carstens
SCA Natural Resources Planning Intern
VIP Paradise Meadow Rover and at Ohanapecosh Visitors Center

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