Emerging Trail Leader Scholarship Recipient


Caitlin Toner

Pocatello, Idaho, United States

My name is Caitlin Toner, and I am currently a Communications Fellow at the NASA DEVELOP program. I heard about the American Trails 2017 International Trails Symposium from my friend Erin Daly, and I am interested in the Emerging Leaders Scholarship Program.

In my current role at the NASA DEVELOP program, I have the opportunity to strengthen my GIS and remote sensing technical skills to address environmental concerns within the community. I have enjoyed this opportunity to strengthen my technical skills to give back to a community, but want more opportunities in sustainable development. I hope to intersect my interest in GIS with my passion for creating livable areas that allow residents to reconnect with nature.

In my Honors Thesis Examining Ecotourism in Southwest China, I explored how “nature” means different things to different countries, peoples, and cultures. This paper, along with following the National Park Service’s push to have more diversity in their parks, has led me to want to explore how America’s definition of “nature” can be diverse and inclusive for all Americans. The symposium’s emphasis on diversity makes me believe this would be a great opportunity to learn more about diversity in green spaces.

If given this opportunity, this will allow me to talk with professionals in the conservation field on how I can merge my interest in GIS and inclusive nature areas.

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244 views • posted 12/13/2022