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US Fish & Wildlife Service FieldNotes

YREKA FWO: Klamath Basin Tribal Youth Program College Students Attend Career Symposium

Region 8, April 30, 2013
April Negrette, Jade Martinez, Beegie Smith, Joe Early and Raefield Benson at the career symposium in Albuquerque, NM.
April Negrette, Jade Martinez, Beegie Smith, Joe Early and Raefield Benson at the career symposium in Albuquerque, NM. - Photo Credit: n/a

By Darla Eastman

Four local college students from the Klamath Basin Tribal Youth Program (KBTYP) attended the Southwest Conservation Career Symposium that was hosted by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Klamath Basin students who attended the Symposium were: Trevor Super of the Karuk Tribe and National University student; Raefield Benson a descendent of the Klamath Tribes and Oregon Institute of Technology; Jade Martinez of the Klamath Tribes and Oregon State University student; and Beejie Smith of the Klamath Tribes and Klamath Community College.

The KBTYP consists of 8 Federal agencies and 6 federally recognized Klamath Basin Tribes working together to engage and increase tribal youth participation in the preservation of natural resources and ecosystems through the effective use of water, conservation and restoration projects and mutual planning opportunities. The mission of the Program is to construct partnerships among the federal agencies, Native American Tribal Governments and college institutions in the Klamath Basin.

In turn, these partnerships will empower the Native communities by providing youth with employment and educational opportunities. The program can also help tribal youth create roles protecting natural resources and the efficient use of water, developing a new energy frontier, tackling climate change issues, enhancing wildlife habitat, and restoring our cultural and historic landmarks.

The Symposium was designed for bachelor and post-graduate degree majors in Natural Resource and the Biological Sciences interested in exploring future employment opportunities with the Service. The event, which was presented by the Service’s National Conservation Training Center, brought in 45 undergrad and graduate students from across the country. 

Workshops led by Service professionals included, resume building, interview techniques, honing networking skills, and establishing sound job-search practices. There were also opportunities for the students to attend an outdoor classroom environment at the Beccechi Open Space adjacent to the Rio Grande bosque and Rio Grande Valley State Park. There they learned about Albuquerque's drinking water, monitoring efforts for the endangered Rio Grande silvery minnow and much more.

Raefield Benson was one of the students who stood out among the group excited about the opportunity. Raefield said, “the workshop was phenomenal! The networking with the students and the regional staff was great. I felt like the staff did a really thorough job of going over the Pathways Program, they were welcoming and patient and I felt like they really cared. I want to get a job with a federal Resource Agency.”

Darla Eastman is an administrator with the Klamath Basin Tribal Youth Program at the Yreka Fish and Wildlife Office in Yreka, Calif.  

Contact Info: Pam Bierce, 916-414-6542, pamela_bierce@fws.gov