Intern Voices: Leigh on her Summer with the Bureau of Land Management

Leigh Federici, Student Intern for ABPA-BLM Program

Leigh at her BLM site of Rock Springs, Wyoming.

I am a senior at the University of Connecticut, graduating December 2019. I will be graduating with a Bachelor’s degree in Natural Resources. Last summer, through ABPA, I got the chance to intern with the Bureau of Land Management in Rock Springs, Wyoming. 

I worked as a Cartographic / Cadastral Survey Technician and worked on the long-term project to retrace and resurvey Township 17 North, Range 103 West, also known as the Sweeney Ranch Double Corner Investigation and Resurvey. The first phase of the project consisted of an intensive search over the 36-sq-mi Township for 19th and early 20th-century stone survey monuments set by the U.S. General Land Office contract land surveyors. During this phase, field measurements were made to all recovered monuments using precision survey grade GPS equipment. The second phase consisted of analyzing the evidence recovered during the first phase, research, and subsequent resurvey to resolve the location/description ambiguities created by these surveys. The final phase consisted of the monumentation of all survey corners with updated survey markers. 

This internship gave me hands-on field experience working as a land surveyor. In a few short weeks, I was able to survey independently in the field. I also gained experience working with GPS equipment and strengthened my GIS, data management, and data analysis skills. I enjoyed working with all the staff in the Rock Springs Field Office, especially my supervisor, Olian Shockley. Working outside in the field every day was especially enjoyable.

I simply would not have been able to be a part of this internship experience without the Arab-American Business & Professional Association. Completing all the paperwork necessary for this internship was a very smooth process, and I was helped every step of the way by ABPA personnel. I also benefited from the various video-presentations given throughout the summer by ABPA, which provided tips for resume and job success. Simply put, ABPA made this internship possible, and I am very grateful!

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