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Volunteer Spotlight - Cara Porteus


After more than three decades of use and abuse, the soil monoliths in Connecticut had seen better days. But, as always, time was tight for the soils staff and the repairs were forever being put on the back burner.

Enter Cara Porteus, a recent graduate of Bucknell University. Porteus had decided to heed the advice of one of her business contacts and volunteer for NRCS while she decided which career path to take.

Porteus used her leadership and organizational skills to get things going on those monoliths by holding a
workshop. There she helped construct and paint the wooden frames; and lined up members of the soils staff to collect soil samples to fill them.

In addition to bringing the monolith project to fruition, Porteus also assisted with ground penetrating radar on-site investigations; and helped edit posters being presented at conferences by various soil staffers.

"Cara is an outstanding volunteer and a pleasure to work with, "said Assistant State Soil Scientist Shawn McVey. "And," he said, "Those projects wouldn't have been as successful without her."

Ironically, Porteus recently accepted a position with the same company that referred her to NRCS for volunteer work. "I learned so much, not only about NRCS as an agency, but about employment in the public sector in general, "she said. "I certainly think my time at NRCS strengthened my ties to the company that hired me. Thank you for allowing me to help with the different projects and for taking the time to teach me about what you do."