Native Science Fellow Tiffany Hill: My experience attending the Watershed Symposium

Blackfeet Community College Native Science Fellow Tiffany Hill attended the Montana Watershed Coordination Council Watershed Symposium in Whitefish, Montana on October 10-12. She co-presented with Big Sky Watershed Corps member Jacob LeVitus, where she shared her experience working on the Ksik Stakii Project. Tiffany is currently studying health science at Blackfeet Community College. After this semester, she is transferring to nursing school at MSU-Northern where she plans to graduate in 2021. After the symposium, Jacob sat down with her to hear more about her experience attending the event.

Tiffany (right) builds a mini-mimic dam as part of the Ksik Stakii Project Field Program (photo by Libby Khumalo)
What is one thing you learned at the Symposium?

I learned a lot about waterat the Montana Watershed Coordination Council Watershed Symposium. Before the Symposium, I knew very little about water conservation, where we get our water from, what’s in our water, and why water is so important to our everyday lives. The theme of the Symposium was communication. I learned about communicating to inform and educate people that don’t know much about water, like myself, and about the importance of watersheds.

What were your favorite parts about the event?

My favorite part of the Symposium was honestly my stay in Whitefish. The Montana Watershed Coordination Council was able to have me stay in the Big Sky Condo at the Whitefish Lodge on Whitefish Lake. I had to share it with seven other people, but it was big enough that I barely even saw my roommates. I had my own upstairs portion of the condo with my own living room, a king sized bed, a personal balcony, a walk-in closet, two sinks, my own bathroom with a large tub and a walk in shower. It was beautiful. Also, my favorite part was just meeting so many wonderful people who are passionate about water and helping the future generations by taking preventative action now.

What were your main takeaways from your experience?

What I took away from the Symposium was a sense of pride and more knowledge about water. I now realize that we need to communicate more so that everyone can understand the importance of protecting our delicate watersheds. Everyone and everything in our everyday lives are ran by water and it’s a very underappreciated source that many overlook. What if we ran out of clean water? How will I be able to drink my coffee every morning if there is no water to make that coffee? The world will be no more.

Tiffany (left) smiles with Native Science Fellows before building beaver dam analogues in Willow Creek (photo by Libby Khumalo)
What surprised you the most?

What surprised me the most were the people who attended the Watershed Symposium. Everyone was super nice and laid back, but when the symposium started and people started to give their presentations and talks, it blew my mind how knowledgeable and dedicated everyone was in how we can protect our watersheds. I met people from all over the nation, but we all met up in Montana to talk about water. It was truly an honor to have been able to be a part of this symposium.

Learn more about the Blackfeet Commuinity College Native Science Field Center here.

Learn more about the Montana Watershed Coordination Council here.

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