A Sense of Place

A Sense of Place

Written by Emily Olsen, Student Intern

When I was accepted into the Environmental Education and Teaching graduate programs at Southern Oregon University I was incredibly excited to move and to go back to school. I felt like it was what my life needed and it was. I did not realize how hard it would be to completely move away from the home I made for myself in Portland and my support system there. My family and friends are everything to me. The internship I had with the Southern Oregon Land Conservancy helped with that transition by giving me a place where I felt like I belonged and could use my skills to help. I was really struggling with my sense of place and all the wonderful people at the Southern Oregon Land Conservancy created a space where I felt like I belonged and was valued as a unique individual and for that I will forever be grateful!

Emily Olsen (left) and volunteer Annette Small helped to remove barbed wire fencing for safer wildlife passage at Rogue River Preserve.

I was given the opportunity to grow in many areas and “stretch my legs” in areas of interest to me including habitat conservation and environmental education. I shadowed Karen Hussey on a couple of conservation easement monitoring visits and had a blast meeting new people and getting to know the land here in Southern Oregon. I helped Della fundraise for the Conservation Celebration and helped create a post event survey for some of the events that SOLC hosts. I helped Kristi lead a couple work parties on the Rogue River Preserve removing Scotch broom and barbed wire fencing (which I absolutely love doing!) and helped Karen on the Swift Project with Hedrick Middle School creating curriculum and helping to organize the community event trying to bring awareness to those amazing birds that call the valley home during their migration.

My internship with the Southern Oregon Land Conservancy was an experience I am incredibly grateful for and will not forget. All the wonderful, unique individuals that work there are just too hard to say goodbye to so I plan on staying involved when I can while I am still living here in southern Oregon.

From SOLC, THANK YOU Emily for your outstanding contribution to our organization and conservation in Oregon!!