My first long term job was working as a Recreation Leader and Site Supervisor at the city-owned and operated Flagstaff Aquaplex while I was in college at Northern Arizona University. It helped pay the bills and gave me experience in customer service and managing a handful of tasks and employees depending on daily responsibilities. I helped teach exercise classes like Cycling and assisted with sports activity classes for kids. I reorganized and logged hundreds of rock climbing waivers into an excel spreadsheet for easy lookup and improved tracking. I attended site supervisory team meetings where my peers and I would coordinate program operations on the “dry side” which included a rock climbing wall, basketball gym, fitness floor and a babysitting room. I took up organizing the employee daily schedule involving 25-35 people which often times challenged my mental balance, peer relationships and personal flexibility.
I took time off to concentrate on my Senior finals, graduation and to focus on having fun during my potentially last summer in Flagstaff, AZ. That summer consisted of two major priorities which was an internship with the Grand Canyon Chapter of the Sierra Club and my final class needed for completion of my degree: Sustainable Botany. I spent nearly all of my time outside either hiking Potential Wilderness Areas, exploring the desert southwest with friends or digging in gardens on farms in New Mexico. The end of summer was bittersweet since I couldn’t find a job or place to stay in Flagstaff, neither could I find anything immediately out of college in 2013.
After moving in with friends in Sparks, Nevada, I finally landed a Seasonal Park Aide Ranger position with Washoe County Regional Parks and Open Space. I absolutely loved this job. Patrolling the park, working on projects and interacting with the people who use and love the parks can be inspiring. The position was seasonal however, which made me go looking for a new opportunity pretty quickly. Several months later I had secured an Americorps Service position with the Incline Village General Improvement District’s Waste Not program (IVGID Waste Not) beginning in September where I had volunteered as a kid taking water quality samples. My responsibilities at Washoe County and Americorps overlapped for one month in the fall of 2015.
Americorps was a tremendous experience and I am so grateful for the education award that I have yet to use. For now, I am concentrated on increasing my real world experience as I continue to work for IVGID Waste Not as a paid employee. My daily duties can change but I assist with a range of responsibilities related but not limited to: water quality, natural resource conservation, recycling, wildlife protection, solid waste solutions, bear sheds/garbage can enclosures, hazardous waste management, public outreach, customer service, data management and sustainability.