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April 8, 2010

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April 8, 2010

My experience begins with the enthusiasm to participate in a Wilderness First Aide class. When researching such class, I found the EPI website and remembered visiting the campus briefly in Mexico. The website posted positions open for feild instructors in Mexico and I applied. I did not get the job, but was excited to be a part of the Wilderness First Aide class in January that terminated before it started as it was canceled due to a lack of participants. I know that EPI is not at fault for this. With a degree in Physics and Math, a life of outdoor experience in the Inland Northwest and a history of living in La Paz, Mexico, I decided that I would like to become involved with EPI and thus, traveled to La Paz despite the cancelled class. Upon arriving, I talked with the employees of EPI La Paz and even enjoyed a tour of the campus. After a nice conversation with those who were working on campus, I offered my services, as a volunteer, to write curriculum for advanced students and any other bits and pieces that might need doing. I was encouraged to keep in touch and made plans to receive data and general information about the specific ecology programs of the island and whales so that I may write the said curriculum for these programs. Although I was told several times over the next few weeks that someone would be contacting me and that my services would be appreciated, I got the same lip service every week or so . . . Thank you for your patience, we are quite busy with opening the season I will be in touch next week about how you may be able to help us . . . After a month or so of this type of communication and my responses of the sort . . . just let me know what I can do, I am anxious to start writing curriculum and anything else that you may need. . . I felt that maybe my opportunity to volunteer and help EPI was passing. There was still hope, though. EPI has an internship position in La Paz which started in March, so in February, I organized my information and sent it in hopes that I may have been able to earn the position and still be a part of EPI. A week passed with no word, the training date for the position was quickly approaching and so was my sister's wedding. Although I had planned to miss my sister's wedding if I were accepted by EPI to work, I was getting worried that they had not yet contacted me. As the days passed and I heard nothing from them, I bought my tickets to my sister's wedding. The very next day, I received an email from EPI. My heart pounding and mind swirling over what I might do now that I had plans to leave were settled when I read the email which stated "Your application for recruitment coordinator is complete, you should hear from us the end of next week" Recruitment coordinator? I asked myself. I applied for a feild internship in Mexico, not a recruitment coordinator position in Montana. I sent a quick email asking about what may have happened, then another within a day as I had decided that maybe moving back to Montana would not be a bad situation. Oddly, I did not get a response to either of my emails, nor did I hear back from them at the end of the next week. Sadly, I am not impressed at all with this organization. It appears to me that they are not the real thing. Either very unorganized, or just playing it by ear, or simply using ecology funds to do whatever sounds best at the time, I am not sure. I can only say that I began with great hopes and a high regard for this program and have since been involved in a string of incidences that leave me to think that EPI could do a much better job.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

attempting to help them as a volunteer and applying for specific job positions as well as communication with people who have taken their students on two of EPIs programs; one in Yellowstone, the other in Costa Rica

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Try to reach a population of people who are not already oriented toward the outdoors. I would do things such as carry black plastic water containers to provide quick rinse showers in the back country. I would attempt to make ecology attractive to all.

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Ways to make it better...

EPI were more organized or if someone had communicated better with me.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

One time

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

April 8, 2010

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April 8, 2010

I am a high school teacher and I chaperone groups of students on EPI's wonderful programs annually. I have taken trips to Costa Rica where we worked hands on with the endangered Leatherback Sea Turtles. We patrolled the nesting beaches at night and when a Leatherback came up to nest, we would collect various data and also ensure her nest was located in a good location. During the day, we hiked and witnessed first hand our lessons of biology, ecology and conservation. On a trip to Baja, we witnessed daily Blue and Bryde's whales. The students collaborated with the scientists to locate a whale and then successfully obtain a biopsy of the blubber and skin. All students have become super charged on these trips to persue a degree and a career in the science field. Also, many have come home to make drastic changes within their own lives and community. It is been really rewarding as a teacher to witness this change in a student. It is an impact only trips like the ones EPI offers can initiate.

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What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

Seeing the change in the students that have gone with me and seeing some incredible species of wildlife!

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

super friendly, knowledgable and just GREAT people.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

Change the way the human race treats the Earth.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About once a year

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

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Help with an event, prepare student and course materials, office support (help with mailings, copies, data entry, and filing).