International Development, Community and Environment (IDCE)

Date of Award


Degree Type

Practitioner Report

Degree Name

Master of Science in GIS for Development and Environment (GISDE)


International Development, Community and Environment

Chief Instructor

Yelena Ogneva-Himmelberger


This report provides a detailed account of my fellowship experience with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) Region 6 Office in Lakewood, CO during the summer of 2017 made possible by the Student Conservation Association (SCA) sponsored by Directorate Fellows Program. The internship was completed in the Region 6’s Branch of Decision Support in Ecological Services under the direction of Spatial Ecologist John Guinotte. I was a GIS Technician tasked with work responsibilities involving listed threatened and endangered species relevant to the region. Those work responsibilities included refining spatial Area of Influence (AOI) ranges, updating databases, and creating a habitat conservation potential map. These tasks required personal responsibility with field travel and communication with field office biologists.

This fellowship provided a unique and meaningful summer experience with a federal bureau dedicated to nationwide conservation of listed threatened and endangered species. I had the opportunity to not only learn about USFWS’s mission and operations and network with the dedicated scientists and resource management professionals of USFWS, but also, to apply my skills acquired from academic settings into a federal government conservation bureau. The skills obtained, people encountered, and tasks completed involving listed species have encouraged my lifelong desire for learning and shaped my career aspirations. This fellowship experience has been essential for gaining insight into the important work of USFWS and influencing my career goals. I would highly recommend the USFWS’s Directorate Fellows Program for students who have a strong interest in a career someday with the USFWS.



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