17 May 2022

Professional Development: Field Trips

Written by: Daniela Kenny

One of my favorite parts of being a Resource Assistant for the Forest Service has been the professional development aspect. Thankfully, it’s a built-in part of the resource assistant program and even came with a $2,750 budget. Due to the pandemic, I had trouble finding in person seminars or trainings that I could use my professional development fund on. I did use it to get Rosetta Stone in Spanish, so that I could practice reading, listening, and speaking another language. I have attended some workshops on federal resumes, getting hired in the forest service, etc. I’ve also had the opportunity to help specialists with field work and shadow others for a day.

Most recently, I shadowed my two supervisors for a day and we took a trip to Globe, Arizona. It was an hour and forty minute drive, and on the way, they told me all about the Forest Service. They told me of their career paths and gave me advice on mine. Once we got to Globe, we met up with an Arizona Conservation Corps trail crew and they showed us around a couple campsites that they’ve been working on and restoring. My supervisor took some photos of the crew, their work and progress, so that she could use the photos for a social media campaign. The social media posts are intended to highlight the important work the trail crews are doing, and also advertise new trail crew positions. All the trail crew members were around my age, so we had a great time chatting and sharing experiences. They showed me their honorary trail mascot "plank" shown in the photo below.plank


I really enjoyed going to Globe and meeting with the crew. Being outdoors and chatting with like-minded conservation professionals is exactly how I like to spend my time. Helping with field work and shadowing specialists has been my favorite professional development activity while in this position. It has allowed me to learn about a variety of career options within the Forest Service, get hands on experience with field work, and network with specialists in the fields I’m interested in. Thanks to the Resource Assistant program, I’ve been able to grow personally and professionally while being a Wilderness Fellow for the U.S. Forest Service.

Agency: U.S Forest Service

Program: Resource Assistant Program (RAP)

Location: Tonto National Forest

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