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New Hampshire NRCS Employees Help People Help the Land

Carol Drungil


Carol E. C. Drungil

State Conservation Engineer

Durham, New Hampshire

24 years of service in USDA


I came to New Hampshire this year as one of the first female State Conservation Engineers in the country.  This is my fifth NRCS state, following Indiana, Colorado, Florida, and Wisconsin.  I arrived in New Hampshire at an unusual time when the entire engineering staff was devoted to completion of a massive two-year-old Emergency Watershed Protection project. 


Although construction is not my area of expertise, I spent one of my first weeks in the field working with the rest of the engineering staff, helping out with surveys and staking as needed.  It was a great experience, giving us all the chance to get to know one another while working side by side.  Not only did I learn plenty about construction, but I discovered the incredible talent and dedication of my staff. 


It was also clear that additional resources would be needed to complete the project before the end of the New England construction season.  With the cooperation of our State Conservationist, we brought in construction inspectors from neighboring states and provided one of our own engineers his first opportunity to work on a construction site.  I am excited to be here in this beautiful state, and I am proud to lead and work with this team of outstanding people. 


Melissa Hemken

Melissa Hemken

Communications and Information Specialist

Earth Team State Volunteer Coordinator

Student Conservation Association (SCA) Intern

Durham, New Hampshire

12-month Internship, Aug. 2007 to Aug. 2008



In the summer of 2007 New Hampshire NRCS signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Student Conservation Association (SCA) allowing them to partner and bring their conservation-based interns to assist NH NRCS. SCA is based in Charlestown, NH and provides opportunities for students to gain hands-on education and work experience with natural resource agencies throughout the United States.


I am the first of three NH NRCS SCA interns that began12-month internships in the Durham State Office during 2007. I am serving as the Communications and Information Specialist and Earth Team State Volunteer Coordinator.


Previously I was a 3-month SCA intern with the Historic Trails RC&D Council in central Wyoming. My focus with the Council was the interagency Small Acreage Landowner Education and Outreach Project. I helped small acreage landowners become connected, and receive resources from, natural resource professionals. This was accomplished through mailings, workshops, community outreach and one-on-one visits with landowners.


SCA has allowed me to gain valuable work experience in the conservation field, and provided me with many learning opportunities. I have also been introduced to the natural resource agencies and organizations that partner across the country to further conservation.


I am a native of Iowa and graduated in August 2007 from Iowa State University with a BS in journalism, environmental studies, and sociology. My family has been farming in my hometown of Williams, IA for several generations; producing corn, soybeans, alfalfa, oats, market hogs and beef cattle. Working on my family´┐Żs farm has provided me with a lot of hands-on agriculture knowledge that I am now combining with my journalism skills as I work with the NRCS here in New Hampshire.