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Out West Student Blog

The severity of the recent drought helped overcome resistance to groundwater regulation in California.
Highly recognized as a wastewater treatment plant, the Watsonville Recycled Water Facility was developed as one of the ways to combat California’s growing water problem.
The San Clemente Dam used to lie on the Carmel River. However, in 1992, the dam was deemed unsafe due to seismic activity in the area. What followed was, the largest dam removal project to occur in California.
Apr 17 2017 | Out West student blog
The steelhead endangerment declaration and a dam's failed seismic review ushered in a new era for the Carmel River.
"It was absolutely incredible to me how much I had learned," writes Princess Umodu. "Keeping the ballot measures database updated was only the beginning. Work included compiling and double-checking legislation on various topics including voter id and poll watcher requirements, as well as a brief stint in legislative vacancies."
All those humans entering the park in a million cars also remind me that working for the NPS is such a gift, because I get to work for a cause that I truly love. Every day, I am working to protect and share the most wonderful place I’ve ever seen in my entire life—and hopefully inspiring others to protect it as well.
Aug 27 2016 | Out West student blog
I accompanied our neighbors, the Marine Mammal Center, to Point Reyes for a seal release. They released four harbor seals and two elephant seals on a small beach near an elephant seal rookery. It was all over in about five minutes, but still a heart-warming afternoon.
Aug 26 2016 | Out West student blog
The difference between expectations and reality here in LA has got me thinking about the anchoring, centering power than unique places have. While it pains me to see things like mountaintop removal for ecological and social reasons (The people living downstream! The animals!), what gets me even more is the erasure of location.
Aug 26 2016 | Out West student blog
The beauty of Yosemite will most likely dot my dreams for a long time. I’m grateful for the break I found this summer in its waterfalls and boulders, but I’m mostly grateful that I didn’t just appreciate the area. My job at the Yosemite Museum gave me a base of history and culture with which I thought about the area.
Aug 25 2016 | Out West student blog
Even though I had almost no experience with the tools and techniques I’d be using on several of these projects, my coworkers had an incredible amount of trust in my ability, and this allowed me to try so many new things. They gave me a ton of freedom in shaping the direction of these projects, and that seemed pretty rare to me.

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Recent Center News

Aug 16 2018 | Out West student blog
The Trust for Public Land and intern Victoria Mendez worked with an artist to build an ice cream cart fitted with sensors that would instead “provide real-time information on local air quality in a culturally attractive, engaging way.”
Aug 15 2018 | Out West student blog
At the National Conference of State Legislatures, “seeing that my internship work has real world applications has brought me so much joy,” says Hannah Zimmerman.
Aug 14 2018 | Out West student blog
“Pumped storage,” Barrett Travis writes from the California Department of Water Resources, “may be an essential part of helping California and the rest of the country transition fully to solar power and other intermittent but clean sources of energy.”