As I read through past blog posts I find a unique, eloquent, voice that radiates through each passage. Individuals that have traveled to different countries, experiencing new cultures, and are faced with adjusting to a new way of life. I am confronted with a much different experience.
I was raised in the Swan Valley, which is located in Montana’s Crown of the Continent. I moved to Missoula in 2006 and although I had returned to the valley over the years I didn’t feel connected to the place like I had as a young child. In the fall of 2014 I returned to the Valley to participate in Northwest Connection’s field semester- Landscape and Livelihood. Prior to this program I had lost the appreciation for the unique culture and beauty that has been bestowed upon this small town. It re-kindled that sense of belonging- the pride and responsibility that develops around a place that you love and care for.
I kept in contact with Connections over the past year and looked for an opportunity to return and work with the organization. My wish was granted when a position as a field technician on their winter Rare Carnivore Monitoring Project opened up. I was elated to have the opportunity to join the crew and be a part of on the ground monitoring efforts that will help to inform management decisions and conservation strategies in the area as well as gather invaluable information on the distribution and abundance of three target species: Canada lynx, Wolverine and Fisher.
When I looked for a Beyond the Classroom Experience, I wanted to do something unique, something that would connect me to my theme and allow me to explore the concept of sustainable “rural” growth and development through education. The Rare Carnivore Project did just that, and I look forward to the coming weeks and the opportunity this internship presents.
I included a video below that was taken from Northwest Connection’s website on the field work we are doing. The second link is on the project itself.