I am Elizabeth Munding, a NEPA planner on the Coconino National Forest. I appreciate federal service since beginning as a seasonal National Park Service interpretive ranger in 2004. With the NPS, I traveled on what I called the “four-corner tour” from Maine to California to Alaska to Florida as a park interpreter. (Respective parks included Acadia National Park; Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks; Glacier Bay National Park; Biscayne National Park; and Yosemite National Park). At Yosemite National Park from 2008-2012, I served as a webmaster launching more than 50 science-based webpages as well as a NEPA planner.
Trying to climb the federal career ladder, I found my way into the Forest Service on the Dakota Prairie Grasslands in Dickinson, ND, in 2014, as a NEPA Planner. After two years in snowy North Dakota, I headed to the Coconino National Forest in Sedona in 2016 where I could be a warmer NEPA planner. Sedona is where I’ve become exposed to all levels of partnerships, essential for the Forest Service to accomplish its work.
To add to my learning, I’ve detailed with the Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest as the acting Public Engagement, Administrative and Planning staff officer in 2020 and with the Siuslaw National Forest as a public affairs staff officer in 2021, overseeing Secure Rural Schools projects that engaged seven counties.
Prior to my federal career, I was a professional newspaper journalist for a dozen years—last serving at the “Burlington Free Press” in Burlington Vermont in 2001. Science communication has been a foundation of all of my career fields. Today, I’m honored on the Coconino National Forest to coordinate partnerships for Forest Service projects, including the Oak Creek Watershed Restoration project and Fossil Creek Wild & Scenic River.
Life in Sedona includes unwinding each week at a pottery wheel at the Sedona Arts Center and doing yoga or hiking my district’s 400 miles of trail. At home, my cats Pumpkin and Tortie shadow me at my computer. Personal travel in 2022 has taken me to visit family in Iowa and also to Mexico—Cancun and Rocky Point.
Coconino National Forest-Red Rock Ranger District
USDA Forest Service