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Career Prep Discussion Series 2: A Day in the Life of Your Dream River Career
Wednesday, October 05, 2022, 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM EDT
Category: Events

 A Day in the Life of Your Dream River Career

Career Prep Discussion Series 2 of 4

A Day in the Life of Your Dream River Career

How much of the job is outdoors vs. in the office? What are some daily challenges? What does the workplace culture look like? In this session, you will hear from a panel of professionals to see what a typical day is like for different river-related careers, and explore whether or not it could be the right fit for you.


Emma Lord

Emma is a Natural Resource Specialist with the National Park Service working in the Partnership Wild and Scenic Rivers Program. Based in New Hampshire, she works with local organizations and Wild and Scenic River communities to protect and enhance their outstanding rivers and river-related resources through a collaborative approach.

Steve "TBerry" Young Steve Young has worked for the National Park Service since 2000. Before that he worked for numerous guiding companies on a multitude of river sections and land skills. Born into a family that spent a lot of time exploring, back packing, canoeing and exploring the void areas of maps. Steve has spent a fair amount of time supporting numerous other agencies and finds it important to work with cooperators. "You cannot do more with less! You can only do more with better cooperation with others". Steve is also the 2022 Outstanding Contribution to River Management RMS Award recipient.
Tom O'Keefe Tom O'Keefe is the Pacific Northwest Stewardship Director for American Whitewater. 

Tom first got his start paddling and playing in the water during early childhood canoe trips to the Adirondacks in upstate New York. After a brief diversion as a competitive swimmer and water polo player through high school and college, Tom came back to paddling and began his first serious whitewater while on a trip to Japan in 1992 and shortly thereafter became a full-fledged fanatic with the University of Wisconsin Hoofers. Tom has traveled across the country and around the globe in search of great rivers; in 2003 he completed a final descent of the Yangtze River through the Three Gorges, before the gates were closed on the world's largest dam.
Tom began work with American Whitewater in a volunteer capacity in 1995 and served as a Regional Coordinator in the Pacific Northwest before joining the staff in 2005. Tom received his undergraduate degree at Cornell University before completing his graduate work in aquatic ecology at the University of Wisconsin where he received his PhD in Zoology. Tom worked at the University of Washington where he coordinated research projects focused on the dynamics of nutrients returning salmon bring to river ecosystems and the structural development of riparian forests along large floodplain rivers. Through his work as a river ecologist, Tom gained experience working with resource agencies including the National Park Service and Forest Service as many of his research projects were conducted on public land. Tom has also taught courses in aquatic ecology, including watershed ecology and management, both at the university level and for youth programs. Bringing a wealth of experience to the organization, Tom contributes skills in river and fisheries ecology, teaching and outreach, grant writing, multimedia, web development, and inspiring local volunteers to help build American Whitewater's stewardship program. He is based in Seattle, WA and works closely with volunteers throughout the Pacific Northwest region on projects in Coastal WA/OR, the Columbia River watershed, Puget Sound, Fraser River watershed, coastal BC, and Alaska. In addition Tom covers project work in the Upper Midwest. And when the water's up, Tom still finds time to play on the water with family and friends.

  Kirstin Heins
  Andrea Ania