GBI Media Contest March 2021 Submissions

With the March media contest, we asked for images that presented role models and inspirations, and we received an appealing variety of entries, including that by our winner, Jackie Spicer. Her entry, above, features Grace Palermo from Friends of Nevada Wilderness. As she explains, “Grace has been one of my role models since 2016 when I first volunteered with Friends of Nevada Wilderness during their Alternative Spring Break trip. It was my first experience exploring and serving our public lands. I continued volunteering over the years and last summer I joined her summer trail crew as an AmeriCorps in the Spring Mountains National Recreation Area.”

“This year, I started a new position as a Volunteer Program Specialist with the Great Basin Institute’s Research Associate Program. I work with the federal land agencies in Southern Nevada and our nonprofit partners (including Friends of Nevada Wilderness) to connect youth and underserved communities to our public lands through stewardship events like Alternative Breaks! Grace has taught me so much about how to be a selfless leader and always encourages me to believe in myself. I feel incredibly lucky to be working alongside my role model to provide more people with life changing experiences in the outdoors.”

The thing about role models and inspirations is that they beget future role models and inspirations. We have no doubt that Grace’s inspiration will result in Jackie becoming herself an inspiration to others. And the people and sights that influence our other submissions will likewise contribute to the positivity that GBI’s dedicated personnel carry forward.

Olivia Chang, NCC. “Termite patterns in wood – my crew has been working in Sloan Canyon the past two weeks. While on break, I noticed the amazing termite patterns carved into one of the gates. It’s always inspirational how nature turns ordinary things into art, and this is no exception!”

Diana Hitchens, Research Associate. “I am always inspired by the places I get to work- the remote, rugged and stunning landscapes of Nevada. These photos are of Walley’s hot spring in Genoa, Nevada, where we surveyed for (and found!) the elusive Nevada water mite (thermacarus nevadensis), with Job’s, Job’s Sister, and Freel Peak in the background. I love how the steam of the hot spring and mist of the weather blend together.”

Diana Hitchens, Research Associate.

Jessica Hearns, Research Associate, Compliance Office & Senior Management Team Detailee, Death Valley National Park. “I feel privileged to be able to work in the American West, the Mojave and Great Basin deserts to be more exact. A lot of people have led me to this career from my field ornithology professor, a best friend/retired chief ranger, and my loving spouse. When I think of who my role model is though… no single person sticks out. Instead, I chose Edward Abbey for my role model and photo submission. Abbey was a great environmentalist, was a park ranger across the country, and an author of fiction and nonfiction books that praise the desert and wilderness with a radical spirit of protecting these places and ideas like only Abbey could do. I spend my days addressing mitigations for projects that occur in the desert and in designated wilderness which could be seen as the ‘red-tape’ that can be environmental compliance- something Abbey may arguably despise. Yet, I find myself continually repeating Abbey quotes to myself at work, especially these two:

‘We need wilderness whether or not we ever set foot in it.

Water, water, water….There is no shortage of water in the desert but exactly the right amount , a perfect ratio of water to rock, water to sand, insuring that wide free open, generous spacing among plants and animals, homes and towns and cities, which makes the arid West so different from any other part of the nation. There is no lack of water here unless you try to establish a city where no city should be.

Abbey’s love of the desert and wilderness is constantly with me in my work and when I spend my weekends ‘playing in the park’ so he and his books are an obvious role model for me.”

2 Comments

  • Jay Howard says:

    The last pic and the book Desert Solitaire strikes a cord…takes me back to my idealistic beginnings. (After 30 years in the business of resources and recreation I’m still fairly idealistic!)

  • Janina says:

    Congratulations Jackie! Such a neat story 🙂

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