• A stator in the third powerhouse at Grand Coulee.
  • The penstocks above the water at Hoover Dam
  • The top of Shasta Dam in California
  • An automated gate structure on a canal in Washington.
  • An aerial photo of the sunsetting at Ruedi Reservoir in Colorado.

EMPLOYEE PROFILE: Kristen Strough

A photo of Kristen StroughPosition: Visual Information Specialist (Student Trainee)
School: Boise State University
Major: Mass Communication/Journalism
Hometown: Fruitland, Idaho
Involvement

Stumbling into this position was a wonderful accident! I had just returned from study abroad program in The Netherlands and was planning to not work during my last year of college so I could focus exclusively on my studies. However, one of my favorite professors informed me that a friend of his was looking for an intern. Out of respect for this professor, I dialed the number he gave me and learned about the position. Only then did I find out who and what I was applying for and that it was, indeed, a paid position! The opportunity was too fantastic to pass up.

Experience

I was given the opportunity to edit a documentary for the Grand Coulee Visitor's Center on the construction of Grand Coulee Dam. As the dam was built between 1933 and 1942, I am getting to work with quite old footage. It is very exciting to come across clips of FDR visiting the dam and simply viewing the construction process itself. Additionally, I have worked on various other videos (such as the Pleistocene Trackways Documentation Project) and have spent a lot of time keeping Reclamation's photo and video archive accurate and up-to-date.

Accomplishments

Outside of work, I am a filmmaker. Not only have I won awards for my films, but have also gotten to work on a few professional paid shoots (which is pretty rare in Idaho)! I even got to work on NBC's reality show, "The Baby Borrowers," that was shot in Eagle, Idaho. I graduated Cum Laude from Boise State University and am continuing my education while working with the Bureau of Reclamation. This job is providing me with new skills and enhancing the ones I already have. Working alongside my supervisor (who has been in the field for 20+ years) has given me the opportunity to explore an alternative approach to various aspects of the trade. With Reclamation, I have gotten to work on numerous video projects and even took the lead on a story about 72,000-year-old mammoth tracks that were found on Reclamation land in Eastern Idaho. This was the first Reclamation video that I produced from start to finish without the assistance of my supervisor.

Future

Honestly, I am uncertain about my future. I love filmmaking and would like to pursue it as a career. At the same time, I am thoroughly enjoying my job with the Bureau of Reclamation and am very interested in exploring the opportunities within the federal government. The work is so important and beneficial to the public. I would potentially like to stay in federal service and contribute my ideas for a better future. It would be a treat to somehow combine my politic science background with my existing position.

Updated: October 19, 2012