Updated: Jul 31
Hey there! My name is Taya Brewer. I grew up about 25 minutes from Ashton and I am the 2023 Byers intern. I graduated with a two-year degree in Natural Resource Management and a technical certificate in Geospatial Technology from The College of Southern Idaho. After graduating, I transferred to The University of Montana Western to continue towards a degree in Environmental Science. This summer I will be working with Kamberlee Allison to plan and organize events and outreach programs, help with fencing, and assist wherever else I am needed!
Beautiful East Idaho Sunset
Leading up to this point, I have taken a lot of classes that gave me opportunities to do fieldwork. I gained experience in soil and geology, and I was able to learn about water quality and use different methods of water measurement. I gained field experience and knowledge in rangeland management through a project I was able to work on. I created a management plan to rehabilitate rangeland that I visited and evaluated. Learning about how so many different things make up the landscape and interact with each other is incredibly interesting to me! I felt that this internship would be a great opportunity to further learn about natural resources and everything that goes along with it, especially in the place I grew up.
On the outreach side of things, you'll probably see me out doing our Morning Bites program! On Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays we will be giving away donuts and coffee at angler access sites as well as bite-sized amounts of information about The Henry's Fork Foundation. I really love getting to go outside and talk with people who love this area as much as I do!
Morning Bites at Stone Bridge
I have enjoyed the variety of things I have been able to work on so far this summer. For instance, I had the opportunity to help the Department of Environmental Quality do well testing for nitrates and E. coli in wells around Ashton. While volunteering I learned how to use a YSI water quality sonde to measure dissolved oxygen, conductivity, pH, and temperature. I took samples from each well and learned how to use a GPS to mark the well location. It was a great opportunity to learn something new and help out! I have also been able to assist HFF’s Graduate Associate Sarah Newcomb with some of her hydrology work with my understanding of geographic information systems (GIS).
As someone who grew up in the local watershed, I am excited to use this opportunity to learn as much as I can about the place where I grew up and how we can conserve and protect our resources. I'm going to jump at every opportunity I'm given for field work and learning new skills. As I continue with school, I plan on taking more classes on geology, hydrology, and rangeland! Outside of work and school, I really enjoy running, hiking, being outdoors, drawing, and spending time with my family. I'm looking forward to everything this summer has to offer!