As an adult, the first day at a new job isn’t much different than the first day of school when we are kids. The day is filled with excitement, nervousness and the unexpected. Most importantly, it’s a new beginning, the first step of an exciting new journey. My first day, and first two weeks, as the Conservation’s Commission’s new Blue Thumb Educator have been no different. It has been a whirlwind two weeks that included an ice storm, a farm show and the warmest of welcomes from everyone here at the Conservation Commission.
While I’ve had a number of jobs in my life, few have gotten off to such a busy and exciting start. During a Blue Thumb staff meeting on day two, I discovered that being busy will be the rule, not the exception, as we planned the upcoming weeks. There will be Blue Thumb Trainings in Oklahoma City and Pawhuska, an Environmental Education Expo, a moving day at the Bristow office, and a number of opportunities to get out into the field with my new Blue Thumb teammates. Two days later, I was on the road for the first of these mini-adventures, on my way to Enid for the KNID AgriFest. The two-day event was not dampened by the weekend’s ice storm and provided an amazing opportunity to meet lots of people and talk to them about how soil health directly relates to and impacts stream health. Of course, it was also a great educational opportunity for me, as I began the process of learning as much as I can about the Commission, Blue Thumb and all of our important work.
That learning process continued in the second week, with more time spent in the office. This time was largely spent researching both the work of the Commission/Blue Thumb and the natural resources of my new home state. From the various ecological regions to the scenic rivers to the fish species that call those rivers home, there’s a lot to learn. At the end of the week, all of us on the Blue Thumb team had the chance to participate in a Project WET (Water Education for Teachers) training. As we continue to educate community members, young and old, about water quality, the skills, knowledge and tools gained through this training will prove to be invaluable.
Upcoming days will include getting out in the field with Jeri and Kim, providing me the chance to start experiencing the extraordinary landscape around us and begin meeting our amazing volunteers. I look forward to really starting this new adventure, and also look forward to sharing the experience with all of you.