As a young boy growing up on a 500 acre farm in central Arkansas, Seth Fisher, a natural resource specialist with Little Rock District U.S. Army Corps of Engineers spent most his childhood playing endlessly outside or in the woods.
From climbing bluffs to crossing rivers his grandparent’s farm was an endless adventure at his fingertips.
“My mom wasn’t like most moms since she let me do my own thing,” Fisher said smiling. “Of course I didn’t tell her everything I was getting into.”
In the eyes of a young child climbing bluffs or wading in creeks was like hiking a mountain or crossing a river.
“I would run inside and tell her all the things I had seen,” he said with a laugh. “How I crossed three rivers…there was some stuff I’m sure I left out because if she knew she wouldn’t let me go exploring.”
After years of exploring woods and being surrounded by nature eventually Fisher was inspired in a natural resources careers.
“Being young and growing up outside in nature made me want a job doing the same type of stuff,” Fisher explained. “I knew I wanted to be part of a program allowing me to use my passion, but I didn’t know where to begin.”
Lacking clear guidance or goals, Fisher graduated high school and spent his first years in college not knowing what he wanted to do.
“I knew I wanted to work in nature and with kids,” he said. “So I decided on a degree in wildlife biology.”
Although a recent graduate, Fishers first job wasn’t with USACE.
“I spent about six years employed at another organization before getting hired with the Corps last year,” he said.
However even as a new Corps employee, the position meant sacrifices for the Arkansas native.
“Getting a position with USACE meant my family and I had to move away,” Fisher said. “I worked with Vicksburg District for a year before getting the position here.”
Once offered a position more locally, Fisher didn’t hesitate to be able to stay with USACE so he could be closer to home.
“Coming here to this district brought my family to our home roots,” he said. “I’m only a couple hours from my parents now.”
Being close to his childhood farm is important to Fisher who is a new dad.
“Being a new father and also a husband I wanted to be close to where I grew up,” he said. “When I was with Vicksburg District I worked in Mississippi and couldn’t go home every weekend like I can now.”
“We [USACE] do things with kids, help the visitor center, shoreline management, and food plots,” he said.
Yet the most rewarding part of being a natural resource specialist, he feels, is the involvement and interaction with kids.
“Working with kids is my favorite part of this job,” he said. “Combined with being outside brings me back to my childhood days of exploring in the woods.”
While Fisher plays a vital role in keeping Greers Ferry running, his teammates keep Fisher encouraged.
”The people who work here are professional and do their job well,” he said. “They inspire me be better at my job.”
Fisher emphasized further it’s the kids who truly promote USACE and the importance of outdoor recreation.
“The kids come out and see what the Corps does,” he said. “It gets them out in nature and allows hands on learning.”
While kids are getting a hands on approach it also keeps them excited to come back.
“When they [children] come out here and have fun they look forward to next year’s field trips,” Fisher said. “We’re paving the way for future generations to be involved and know about the Corps.”