Tuesday, May 7, 2013

One Year Past or A Year in Pictures

Yep, that's my guy. He's awesome. 

So much has happened in the last year, and I've obviously been a huge slacker too busy to spend a lot of time posting.  I've been incredibly busy living life.

In my last post, I talked a bit about my internship with the Friends of Buford Park at the Native Plant Nursery. I completed my internship and was asked if I would continue to volunteer, leading the new interns in nursery operations so that the Stewardship Coordinator could go and do other work in the park. So, I continued to volunteer through the first week of August, harvesting and cleaning seed in the nursery.

The garden was so overgrown you couldn't see the beds.
YAY Graduation!! Crystal and I were both so happy to be done.
In June, Stephen and I got married at a historic hazelnut orchard called Dorris Ranch. The arching habit of the hazelnut trees provided a cathedral like setting for our ceremony, and then our reception was outdoors next to the barn. It was a gorgeous day, and we were so happy to be able to share the beautiful day with our friends and family.

Two days later, I graduated from the University of Oregon with my Bachelor of Landscape Architecture degree. It was an amazing few days, and it was also absolutely exhausting. But, I'm so glad that we were surrounded by people that love and support us. 

Wading in the McKenzie, chasing after HS students.
 In July, we moved into a new house, further from campus. Great house, with a great garden space that needed a LOT of work. YAY! It was a giant weed pit, but we quickly went to work, clearing beds, removing weeds, adding to and amending the soil.

Another "hard" day at the office.
I continued to work at the UO part-time, and volunteer at the nursery. I was applying for pretty much any job that fit the bill. That bill being that it needed to pay, be located in Eugene and use my degree. I applied, interviewed and accepted an additional part-time position with the McKenzie Watershed Council, as their Salmon Watch and Education Coordinator. If you don't know what a watershed council is, this blog post provides a great overview.At first, I was hesitant to take the job because I had just spent 4 grueling years and thousands of dollars on a degree in landscape architecture. Dang it... I wanted to use my degree. But, I also needed a job. After a bit of soul searching, I decided that this position fit my current requirements. It provided experience in a related field, got me in contact with people in my field, paid real money instead of just volunteer experience, and had the potential to become full-time later on.

A job with views like this is just intolerably hard.
My first trip out with students was students from Thurston High School. We all put on waders, and surveyed a side channel of the McKenzie River, recording usable data in areas that wood placement projects had occurred.  Next, I tackled Salmon Watch, which is a story for another time.

Over time, my job has morphed into restoration design, planning and implementation as well as education.  So, the big fear that I had about not using my degree, well, it ended up being needless worrying on my part. I love the work I do! I get to spend time designing in the office, implementing projects in the field, and teaching kids about the importance of healthy of our watersheds (Hello riparian zone!) while working side-by-side them in the field. I keep finding myself outside, in beautiful landscapes thinking, "Can you believe they PAY me to do this?" I have so much fun with the students, working, teaching, even just talking with them. AND, I get to "scratch" my design itch.

I'm still working part-time at the UO as well as working part-time for the watershed council, but we're busily applying for my grant funding to make my position full-time, with benefits. I'm seriously hoping that works out. I love the work, I love the people I work with and I want this job to be what I do.

The good news of all of this, is that I'll likely be able to update more regularly with more about my current adventure, and probably less about my personal life.

No comments:

Post a Comment