Today we’re continuing our series "New Service Voices" with guest blogger Cortney White. Cortney has been with the service since 2009 at Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge, first as a clerk, now as a Park Ranger in the Student Career Employment Program (SCEP). Cortney completed her B.A. in Public Relations from Winona State University in 2010 and is finishing her M.S. in Outdoor Education. She has concentrated her work at WSU on how to promote positive environmental attitudes in young children.
When I started working with the Service, my job description as a clerk at the Upper Miss Refuge included helping the new refuge Friends group start using social media tools like Facebook and Twitter. When I learned I would be able to communicate the mission of conservation using social media I was excited to help display the refuge in a new spotlight.
At that time social media was new to the Service, and providing a resource for the Friends group to advertise the refuge online helped expand the refuge to a new audience. Like many organizations, the refuge traditionally depended on print or television media to promote a refuge story and communicate to viewers. Social media however, allows the refuge the ability to communicate directly with those interested in its mission.