OSM/VISTA Outreach Coordinator, Colorado River Watch, Denver, Colorado
Office of Surface Mining, Reclamation and Enforcement
How Julia Campus got involved with Office of Surface Mining, Reclamation and Enforcement
After college graduation, I wanted to work on environmental issues, volunteer, and travel to a new place. When a friend suggested the Americorps website, I searched until I found the Western Hardrock Watershed Team, and knew I had to apply.
I work on water quality issues, which is an especially important issue in the headwaters state of Colorado. My organization, Colorado River Watch, provides training for citizens so that they may contribute useful information about the status of Colorado's waters. One memorable experience from my year was teaching a group of high school students about measuring water quality parameters in a water sample. At first, it seemed as if they could care less about quantifying the hardness of the sample, but as I explained why we care about water, they became more and more interested. They gradually got the hang of the titration we were doing, and when we finished, they not only had an accurate answer, but they understood what the answer meant, in terms of water quality. What a proud moment for me!
Julia Campus' accomplishments
My time with Americorps has allowed me to accomplish much, both professionally and personally. I’ve learned much about the professional working world, as this Americorps position represents my first full-time job post-college. I’ve become adept at presenting myself and my organization to multiple audiences, and teaching citizens water quality sampling methodology. Grant-writing, volunteer management, and nonprofit management are also areas within which I’ve been able to develop skills.
Julia Campus' next steps
With the experience I've had with OSM/VISTA, I know that I'll continue my volunteering well into the future. I'd like to pursue a masters of science, and then enter the environmental remediation field.
Hometown: Richmond, Virginia
School: Virginia Tech
Major: Environmental Science