The selection process was rigorous and numerous exceptionally well-qualified candidates submitted applications and resumes.' Our NV Student Chapter did a blind screening and ultimately selected Sierra Amundson, a young lady from Wyoming, as the best qualified candidate. The WSF Board unanimously approved the selection on Friday and we're thrilled to have her come on board.
In the eight years I've been on the board, this is one of the coolest things we've done. It will help young people get involved in a top-rate conservation organization at the highest level. In addition to a scholarship, they will learn from us and we will certainly benefit from their young ideas and enthusiasm.
The following is an announcement on this from WY WSF:
"Amundson Selected as WSF’s First Youth Intern Board Member
Starting May 1, 2015, Sierra Amundson will begin her 2 year term as the national Wild Sheep Foundation’s (WSF) first youth intern board member. Ryan Brock, WSF Youth Education Coordinator states, “the intern will serve as an active board member without voting privileges, will work on subcommittees and apply a younger perspective on issues within our network. This is an amazing experience, which will offer Sierra the opportunity for hands-on skill building and will offer her a look at the business side of wildlife management.”
The intern opportunity was announced at the Sheep Show in Reno, Nevada in January and college-aged students from around the country submitted applications by February 1st for consideration. The position comes with a scholarship in the amount of $5,000 per year for two years to assist with college expenses.
Sierra is a high school senior and will be attending the University of Wyoming in Fall 2015, studying Pre-Veterinary Science.
She’d like to obtain a PhD in Pathology, working to find solutions to wildlife and livestock diseases, particularly respiratory diseases in bighorn sheep.
In Summer 2014, Sierra worked at the Wyoming Game and Fish Department’s (WGFD) Thorne Williams Wildlife Research Center as a research technician, where she interacted daily with captive bighorn sheep. Her participation in necropsies of captive bighorn lambs that had died from pneumonia helped to further her interest in her chosen academic field. She received financial and technical support from WY Wild Sheep Foundation, Wyoming Game and Fish Department, and Wyoming Department of Workforce Services in this position.
In Fall 2014, Sierra worked for the Wyoming State Vet Lab at game check stations in southeast Wyoming, collecting blood samples for Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease (EHD) and Bluetongue virus in pronghorn and deer. Throughout the school year, Sierra has also volunteered at the Laramie Peak Veterinary Clinic in Wheatland, gaining additional experience working with livestock and pets.
At the Sheep Show in Reno in January 2015, Sierra was the keynote speaker at the Youth Wildlife Conservation Experience, and visited with over 500 school children from the Reno area about her summer work experiences, bighorn sheep disease, and her career ambitions. She worked at several educational booths, and recruited families to participate in conservation education programs at the show. These varied work experiences, in addition to her academic and extracurricular achievements, helped build a strong resume for Sierra, which resulted in her selection for the internship.
“I want to thank everybody that has contributed to my invaluable work experiences and exposure to bighorn sheep and wildlife conservation. The WGFD, WY WSF, national WSF, and numerous individuals have invested their time and resources in me, and I am so thankful,” Sierra said. “I can’t wait to start the internship, and I’ll work hard to contribute to the mission of the Wild Sheep Foundation.”
Sierra plans to return to the Thorne Williams Wildlife Research Center in May to continue to work with WGFD’s Wildlife Veterinary Research Services personnel on bighorn sheep disease research until she starts college in September.
Sierra is the daughter of Ryan (WY WSF Life Member #384) and Cindy Amundson of Wheatland, Wyoming."
Good luck, Robb
I look forward to helping her integrate and feel comfortable as a board member and to helping her grow as she follows her passion for wildlife.
Made the board a little better looking too! :)
Great to hear about her passion for working to find solutions to wildlife and livestock diseases, particularly the dreaded respiratory diseases in bighorn sheep.
Funny you would mention the disease issue.
I'm at the biennial meeting of the Desert Bighorn Council right now and today's session was solely about just that.
The best wild sheep minds in the country are here, representing state agencies, great wild sheep NGOs, terrific universities, along with several related wildlife research organizations. The complexity of the problem is enormous, but progress is being made. It's exciting as well as encouraging for a layman like me to hear all that's being done on this issue.
I want to bring Sierra on to WSF's Professional Research Advisory Board in June. I discussed this with the Chair of the PRAB last night and he's 100% in agreement. She won't have a vote, of course, but she'll learn from the best in the business.
The agenda and data being covered in the Desert Bighorn Council meeting this week is at the link.
Sierra attended last week's board meeting and Chapters and Affiliates meeting in Kelowna, BC. She was a huge hit with everyone. She's mature beyond her years, very smart, very polite, and very professional. She's also very passionate about wild sheep conservation.
This is a win, win without question.