After graduating from the University of Idaho, Jacob Wolf was hired as the Air Quality Meteorologist for the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality. He now develops products and forecasts to help state, federal and tribal agencies determine limits on burning and other polluting activities. Jacob identifies Climate Boot Camp as one of the most valuable aspects of his graduate training. “It was eye-opening for me to consider the importance of taking scientific results from researchers and effectively relating them to land managers, stakeholders, and non-scientists. To me, it was very useful to work in the Boot Camp environment as it opened many different branches of the information tree that I hadn’t previously considered.”
Rachel Reagan participated in the first year of the Climate Boot Camp as a U.S. Geological Survey Biologist. She writes “Climate Boot Camp was a unique experience that allowed me to learn more about climate science, understand climate impacts from many disciplines and perspectives, and become part of a larger science community. Since Boot Camp, I have gone on to collaborate on multi-disciplinary research projects addressing climate change impacts, participate in federal forums, and even went back to graduate school to learn more! My graduate research evaluates the costs and benefits of culvert replacements in light of climate influences, benefits to fish, and infrastructure design. I will graduate this spring and look forward to future opportunities to contribute in this field.”
As a member of the National Wildlife Federation’s climate change adaptation team, Tricia Tillmann compiled reports on climate impacts on the ecosystems of western North America and worked with nearly 200 natural and cultural resources professionals to identify challenges and needs for managing regional ecosystems. Of Climate Boot Camp, Tricia says “It provided critical training in how to communicate environmental issues with diverse public audiences, a skill I now use with EnviroIssues, a public involvement and communications firm. I feel fortunate to meet and connect with so many exceptional early career climate change scientists and professionals - the collaborative opportunities at Boot Camp are outstanding.”
The Northwest Climate Science Center’s Climate Boot Camp was an amazing experience. Coming from the tiny Pacific Island of Guam, it was eye-opening to learn about environmental issues for the Pacific Northwest. Throughout the Climate Boot Camp, the importance of relationship building and dialogue between participants from various backgrounds was stressed. The experience at the camps was different from other workshops and trainings in that they incorporated both western and indigenous ways of knowing. We learned through lectures and PowerPoint presentations and then went out and learned in the environment, with firsthand outdoor observations of what was taught indoors. Participating in discussions between fellows and facilitators, I witnessed firsthand the value of incorporating both ways of knowing into decision-making and problem-solving, and learned of real experiences that these various individuals have had to overcome. In the Pacific Northwest, there are issues involving native indigenous land rights with western laws. In the Pacific Islands, there are issues involving native indigenous land rights with western laws as well. Although the areas were vastly different from each other, I learned that our issues are one and the same. We both have conflicts that need resolution, which begins with effective communication that blends all the ways of knowing. This realization was enlightening for myself as an early career student. I grew up learning both ways of knowing, indigenous and western, and to learn of the real life challenges that I will be facing and the potential solutions to them was invaluable.
I was fortunate to attend the Climate Boot Camp in 2015. After graduating from the University of Washington, I returned home and was hired by the Yakama Nation, an indigenous tribe in the Pacific Northwest. Since Boot Camp, I have largely been involved in writing our Climate Adaptation Plan, participating in federal forums, and coordinating funding opportunities. Currently, I am an Agricultural Economist, focused on improving and cultivating Yakama Nation agriculture lands that can generate additional trust revenue through development. Right now we are planning the next 20 years of agricultural production. Climate change and science are a huge part of the conversation, and I am very thankful for the people I was able to meet and network with at the boot camp. It is a unique event where people who share the same passion climate science have a forum to connect.
I am fortunate to have attended three climate boot camps, one in Washington, one in Oregon and one in Idaho. Every single time was a fantastic experience. The cohorts varied each year, yet we all shared the same enthusiasm for learning about climate, natural resource management and decision-making. Fellows come to the boot camp with different backgrounds, and bring to the table different perspectives on the issues we talk about. It was an eye opening experience each time to engage with a smart group of people and to learn from one another. I have built such amazing friendships and collaborations that go beyond boot camp that I wouldn’t have otherwise. And the instructors are absolutely extraordinary! They bring in their expert knowledge about the local environment, land and people. And they are so engaged with all of us. Being able to have in depth conversations with them at the boot camp was really beneficial to me. And being able to build a relationship with the instructors really benefited my research afterwards, because more than once I contacted them and asked for their perspectives when I ran into some problems in my own research. That was just precious. Climate boot camp is such a unique and fantastic experience that I will always take with me wherever I go next.