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People Who Collaborate

Brianna Goehring, Monitoring Coordinator

Brianna Goehring, Monitoring Coordinator with High Desert Partnership

Brianna Goehring is High Desert Partnership’s first Coordinator for its Shared Science and Monitoring Program: “I’m here to help the Harney County Wildfire Collaborative, the Harney Basin Wetlands Initiative and the Harney County Restoration Collaborative explore the information gaps between what they think they want to do on the ground and what the science suggests about the outcomes of those actions on the ground. In other words, I’m here to coax out the monitoring and science needs of our collaboratives. I also train and manage HDP’s seasonal field crews that collect the vegetation field data in answer to those needs.” 

The Harney County Wildfire Collaborative is the first focus of this new Shared Science and Monitoring Program. Brianna and a crew of five Harney County high school and college students will do the vegetation monitoring of an unusual megafire prevention and restoration pilot project in the Pueblo Mountains. They will also be collecting vegetation data in the Stinkingwater Mountains as part of another megafire prevention pilot study of the wildfire collaborative. Most of these vegetation data will be collected by recording the different plant species and ground cover observed along a series of 100-meter tapes, or transects. “A good day with my work is when I have a conversation with one of our partners that gets us one step closer to this vision of a Shared Science Program that can benefit everyone. It’s an even better day if that conversation happens over a ‘lunchroom with a view’ because we are out in the field. Although I will always love getting to go out in the field and geek out about plants, I long ago discovered that work is most rewarding to me because of relationships forged in the process of trying to achieve something worthwhile together. I’m especially excited this summer about the mentoring possibilities with my young seasonal crew.”

Brianna Goehring kayaking in Equador with friends.

Brianna brings a broad worldview to her work thanks to taking a year to “roam” the world. “Before landing with HDP, I was a rangeland management specialist with the U.S. Forest Service in California and Idaho and then later Bureau of Land Management Idaho. It was an incredible time rich in experiences. Some memorable work included overnight field trips in the Golden Trout Wilderness, flying into the Middle Fork of the Salmon River to read some long-term monitoring plots, and interacting with attendees from all over the world in the U.S. Forest Service's International Seminar on Rangeland Management. This experience was particularly interesting because of the awareness that it brought about the ecological and socioeconomic challenges that people in different ecosystems about the globe are dealing with. In 2018 I got the overwhelming itch to tackle my bucket-list item of doing a world tour. The whirlwind year that followed saw me skip from the alpine lakes of the Sierra Nevada to the glaciers in the Canadian Rockies to the canyons of Zion and across the ocean multiple times as I zigzagged between continents. Looking back, I can see that what made each of those places special was the people that I experienced them with. I saw some truly beautiful sites in Colombia, Ecuador, Nepal, Switzerland, but that all paled in comparison with the people I met along the way and the new family that adopted me time after time in place after place.”

As Brianna wound down her 2018-2019 “world tour” she and HDP found each other as she helped wrap up some field work at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge. “That turned into my staying on permanently as I realized how intrigued I was with the work that HDP does in which collaborative decision-making is used to solve difficult community issues. The experience gained during my year traveling has fed my growing realization that although my education and career background are in natural resources, it’s connecting with people that is the most fulfilling thing I can do in my work. Science by itself is just science and has little importance until a human value is tied to it. I find this crosswalk between science and people in the Shared Science and Monitoring Program with HDP.”

When Brianna isn’t in the field she flirts with gravity in her free time—“downriver in a kayak or uphill to go downhill on a bike or skis. I’m a complete sucker for a steep hill with good pavement on my road bike. In winter, I volunteer with the Oregon Adaptive Sports Winter Program at Mt. Bachelor where I help out with adaptive ski lessons.”

More about Brianna.