27 Jun Describing my site: MWRO
As a Park Planning Fellow at the Midwest Regional Office (MWRO), I work in a BIG building with many offices and a lot of people with different background experiences. On my first day, my Supervisor/Mentor, Aleks Pitt, presented me to most of the personnel from the building, and I was just amazed by all the positions you can find inside the National Park Service (NPS). There were a LOT of names and different roles, and I struggled at the beginning to remember them all, but a week later… I still was struggling with that! Then, following this line, one of them told me: “The NPS is like a city. Cities need planners, architects, economists, lawyers, administrative workers, field workers, etc. If the city is big, you will need more extensive personnel to work with it; if the city is small, you don’t need much personnel to manage it. That same situation happens with the NPS, and that’s why you are looking at all these roles. Look at the regional office equal to the big city”. Now I know I will never entirely learn all the positions inside the NPS, not even mention inside the Department of Interior. But at least now I have an idea of how diverse this agency can be.
The office building is located in Omaha, Nebraska, and it’s in an urban developed area. One of the perks of developed urban areas is that public transportation and pedestrian access ARE possible. I took an Urban Environment course in college a few months ago, and we talked about sustainable development and walkable city planning. So now I’m experiencing it in real life and using the bicycle and public transportation to go everywhere near. I don’t miss driving at all and, as a plus, the gas is getting more expensive every day, so one less thing to worry about. I even have a new tradition of taking a picture on the bike (if I remember) every time I’m on my way back home.
It’s an Office, but it is a Visitor Center too…
My workspace is on the second floor, but the first floor is the Lewis and Clark Trail Headquarters Visitor Center. Here you can experience the story of Lewis and Clark and their expedition by appreciating a movie, talking to the rangers, or just reading and watching all the museum objects that the visitor center offers. My favorite things from the museum are the flags from most of the Tribes Lewis and Clark met on their expedition and the National Historic Trail map.
Outside, but still part of the experience, is the Bob Kerrey Pedestrian Bridge that connects Nebraska with Iowa (blog cover picture). On this bridge, you can be in both states simultaneously; you can put one leg on Nebraska and the other on Iowa. Awesome, right? And yes… of course I did it!
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