MONTEREY, Calif. -- Terry Hershey, district ranger with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Sacramento District, Leah Fisher and Zachary Simmons of the district's regulatory division, and planning division's Stacy Samuelson, reached out to attendees at The Wildlife Society's 16th annual conference in Monterey, Calif., Sept. 21 with an emerging message: the Corps is a great, but unheralded place to work in environmental stewardship.

Nearly 1,500 wildlife professionals and students from around the country attended the conference, which featured a career fair where Hershey, Fisher, Simmons and Samuelson presented information on the Corps' regulatory, planning, natural resource management and recreation programs.

"When people think Corps, they think engineering, they think construction. They don't think biologists, ecologist, archeologists and park rangers," Hershey says. "We're here trying to show them a different but important side of the Corps. Most people don't associate us with restoration or protection and that's why we are trying to help educate and reach out to people."

Hershey says presenting at career fairs like the Wildlife Society's is just the beginning of what she plans to be a growing outreach and recruitment program for the natural resources management community.

"I talk to people about my job all the time and they say things like, 'What does the Corps have to do with environmental stewardship'', or 'I didn't know the Corps had park rangers'," she explains. "More and more people are interested in environmental careers and we need to make sure that they know there are opportunities with the district and the Corps in environmental stewardship."

Several student attendees said they were surprised to learn the Corps offers environmental conservation work.

"There are a lot more positions available with the Corps than I realized," said conference attendee Monica Iglecia, a master's degree candidate in zoology at North Carolina State University. "Especially biologist jobs. I'm moving to the Sacramento area after I graduate, and I'll be keeping an eye out for Corps openings now."