U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. (n.d.). Necedah National Wildlife Refuge. [Image]. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. (n.d.). Necedah National Wildlife Refuge. [Image].
14 February 2024

Building Connections and Making a Difference

Written by: Logan Schafer

I’m sure most of us in the field of conservation know how important building connections and our network can be. However, I didn’t know the extent of just how important that might be until I started my fellowship with MANO and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. I am just two months into my fellowship, and I already feel I have built great connections within the Service, even while being a fully remote employee.

The purpose of my fellowship is to research and write climate profiles for military installations throughout my assigned regions, those regions being the Midwest (3) and the Northern Great Plains (6). Throughout this experience so far, I have been connected to both regional coordinators for my assigned regions and a variety of resources from them as well. I’ve also gotten to experience the nearest wildlife refuge to me, Necedah Wildlife Refuge, and was able to see what is happening closer to home. I love exploring trails near me, but had never visited Necedah since it is a bit further from me than other trails. It will definitely be added to the list of regular trails to visit after seeing how beautiful it is there.

A particularly interesting event that is coming up that would be great for building connections is the National Military Fish & Wildlife Association (NMFWA) conference in March this year. This conference will be an opportunity to present the work we have been doing so far, as well as learn about other projects within the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. This is an exciting part of this fellowship that I think is exemplified by the partnership between the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the military.

When I originally started this fellowship, I had some uncertainty about whether I would enjoy researching and working with military installations, as my background is primarily working hands on with wildlife and other animals. As I have begun to learn more about what our goal and purpose is, I have recognized the great opportunity I have to get involved in something that is not always accessible to everyone. Thanks to Hispanic Access Foundation partnering with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for the MANO project, so that I can continue to learn and build connects for this year-long fellowship.



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