What do you do?
Where do you work and what is your title?
I am a field instructor for the Rocky Mountain Field Institute (RMFI), a local non-profit that focuses on the stewardship of our public lands.
What do you do there and/or what are you responsible for?
I lead various groups, mostly volunteers, on single and multi-day work sessions all over the Rocky Mountain region, but mainly the Pikes Peak area. I am responsible for getting the work accomplished while providing a safe and fun experience for the volunteers.
How long have you been doing this kind of work (total)? How long on the Westside?
This is my second season with RMFI, which is based on the Westside. I bring close to 18 years of construction experience with a focus on concrete and masonry work with me to the table.
What do you like best about it (other than quitting time)?
The variety and importance of our work is what stands out. The instant gratification of appreciative trail users is an added bonus.
If you could change one thing (other than pay), what would it be?
I guess it would be shifting the majority of the work from the front country to the back country, bringing back more of an Alpine focus. With ever-increasing numbers of people enjoying the higher country, which has a more fragile ecosystem, these areas need attention.
What part of your work did your training/education never prepare you for?
The intricacies of managing group dynamics. I owned and operated a small custom construction business, with a small, tight-knit crew. We were used to working together as a team. Some of the RMFI work days can involve up to 60 different people coming together from very different backgrounds. Keeping a cohesive feel to the day can be a challenge.
What makes working on the Westside special?
The small-town feel while still being only a few minutes from the “city.” Coming from a rural Southern Colorado area keeps the feeling close to home.
“What do you do?” is a regular feature in the Westside Pioneer. If you know someone who has an interesting job on the Westside (but doesn’t live here), he/she might be a candidate for this column! If you know someone who might qualify, give us a call at 471-6776.