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My Greatest Accomplishment: Gunnison, Colorado

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My greatest accomplishment came at the end of the summer of my sophomore year in high school. I was wrapping up my summer internship with the Forest Service, and the last I had to do was a research presentation. I chose to do a special project out side of Gunnison, Colorado. There was a ditch that ran off the mountain on National Forest onto sagebrush land owned by Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) that was critical habitat of endangered Gunnison Sage Grouse. The initial problem was that the ditch that was carrying the water down to the sagebrush was over 100 years old and in bad condition. It had a failing head gate, tons of flat spots, and hanging flumes full of hole that helped transport the water on the steep hillside. Consequentially, the ditch was leaking a considerable amount of water between the diversion and the sagebrush land. The goal was to create a…show more content…
I used this data to write up my proposal to submit to the Forest Service. Also in my proposal, I included moving the head gate a few hundred yards upstream to a natural eddy that allowed the construction of a much more efficient diversion and head gate. I submitted my proposal and actually got to present it onsite to a group of State and Forest Service engineers who liked my plan and actually decided to implement it. That was my greatest achievement. It was really fun to be able to do all the science and engineering on a project that actually had a major affect for an endangered species. It was also extremely rewarding to be able to have a hands on project where I could practice real world applications of the math and science that I learned in school. Flash back to today, just a couple weeks ago, I got to look at the engineering specs and blueprints for construction of my project that’s going to start taking place this
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