One of this year’s recipients, Eve Barnett, says she’d always loved the outdoors. She decided to pursue a career in environmental work as an undergraduate at Princeton University, where she studied federal agencies’ approaches to stewardship and wrote a 100-page thesis on the National Park Service. By the time she graduated, she could envision a way to channel her love of the outdoors into a life of public service.
After Princeton, she worked seasonally for the National Park Service and gained field experience. As a wilderness ranger, she patrolled trails; as a wilderness fellow, she worked on a stewardship plan. After her first assignment at Kings Canyon National Park, she moved to Mount Rainier National Park, where she was invited to write about the park’s wilderness and help with a long-term planning effort. As the interdisciplinary wilderness coordinator, she facilitated meetings and workshops to build consensus. “Some days were challenging — I had to be precise and assertive in rooms of rangers and scientists,” she says. “But all days were satisfying, and many were exhilarating."
Barnett says she came to F&ES to study environmental policy and develop news skills. She has also taken extracurricular leadership positions that she hopes will help her promote inclusivity, gender equality, and sustainability in public lands once she graduates.