31 October 2020

Providing Stewardship from Home

Written by: Edgar Ortuño

As someone who strives for equitable access to our public lands, I reflect on the past couple of weeks of my remote internship with the Forest Service.

All of which, I must say, has been extremely fulfilling in assisting the communications team for the Recreation One Stop ( program. This remote experience encompasses several of my interests in writing, research, user experience, stewardship, and outdoor recreation. Despite being a remote internship, I have been able to connect with the several teams that give fruition to this program. 

I’m in constant appreciation of my team, Janelle and Kristi. They have been extremely supportive in providing critical, positive feedback on my work and performance. Having witnessed the comraderie within the Forest Service, there’s a plethora of people in the agency keen for your success and willing to fully support your short- and long-term career aspirations. 

Early on, I learned that establishing a specific space for working at home was essential to a successful remote internship. As was taking a break to walk around the block, or several jumping jacks throughout the day to get my circulation going. Attending virtual meetings and informational webinars has provided access to learning of the multitude of roles found within the agency. 

Recently, I was being able to virtually attend the Public Relations Society of America’s 2020 ICON Conference and learn from leading communication industry experts. Attending the professional development sessions during the conference really set a foundational knowledge on the essential role of public relations professionals in any given organization.

Lastly, as I honor my ancestors on this Día de Los Muertos celebration I am reminded to accolade previous generations of individuals that served on the path of providing inclusive stewardship and accessibility for public lands. 

Agency: U.S Forest Service

Program: Resource Assistant Program (RAP)

Location: USFS Headquarters, Washington Office

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