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Earth Team Volunteer Program Featured Earth Team Vignette | Oregon NRCS


Gayatri Yellajosula

Gayatri Yellajosula, Soils Specialist, Hillsboro Field Office
Volunteer Shares Her Knowledge of Soils

Gayatri Yellajosula, an Earth Team Volunteer in the Hillsboro Field Office, was awarded a PhD from the Department of Environmental Conservation Science at North Dakota State University in Fargo. Her dissertation topic was “Evaluation of Soil Carbon Sequestration in the Semi-arid Regions of the Northern Great Plains.”    More...

Amy Plavak

Amy Plavak, Wetlands Restoration Project Manager, Hillsboro Field Office
Excellent Communication Makes Success Possible

As an Earth Team volunteer, one of the first tasks for Amy Plavak was to update wetland restoration specifications for six Wetland Reserve Program (WRP) projects totaling over 1,000 acres. These specifications included gathering technical information about soils, plant communities, and restoration practices as well as non-technical information about partners, goals, and budgets. Updating WRP restoration specifications made communication with project partners easier, simplified budget calculations and ensured compliance with NEPA (National Environmental Policy Act) requirements and NRCS policies.    More...

Jackie Hastings

Jackie Hastings, District Manager/Volunteer Coordinator, Polk SWCD
Try Walking in Her Shoes

The Oregon Polk Soil and Water Conservation District’s volunteer program has become so successful that groups and individuals are contacting the Polk SWCD to become a part of an incredible program. Jackie Hastings, the District Manager’s theory is that you can never have too many volunteers. Thus, Jackie has accepted the collateral duty as Volunteer Coordinator for Polk SWCD and the Dallas, Oregon Ag Service Center.    More...

Renece Forsea

Renece Forsea, Leader/Coordinator, Richland Wildflower Project Group
Even the Wee Mice Like It

Sitting astride the Hells Canyon National Scenic Byway, Richland, Oregon allows easy access to Hells Canyon National Recreation Area. As you approach this small but vibrant community of approximately 180 folks, you ascend a small curved knoll, and the sight to meet your eyes was an abundance of weeds and debris. At the top of this small knoll is a “Y” intersection, and inside the “Y” was no-mans-land. This is not the case now—As the hood of your vehicle peeks over the knoll; your eyes are met with an array of many rainbow colors. These colors come in the form of many, many wildflowers, which are now growing within the “Y.” This ongoing project certainly depicts the vision of NRCS – “Harmony between people and the land.”    More...

Don Huffman

Donald J. Huffman, Hydrologist, Portland, Oregon
Huffman Now enjoying His Work as an Earth Team Volunteer

When he retired as a hydrologist from the NRCS National Water and Climate Center in January of 2004, Don Huffman said that he knew he would be back. “I really enjoyed my job, the program, and the people that I worked with,” he said. “But it was time to slow down a bit and let some of the younger folks step up to exercise their knowledge and try out some fresh ideas.”     More...