By Heather Bradley
The path to policy work was unexpected for Max Griffis. But this summer, he’s fighting the fires of environmental policy in Washington, D.C., with the Society of American Foresters as a Henry Clepper policy intern. He’s taking natural resources coursework while making connections to important policy makers and forestry professionals.
When he first came to Colorado State University, he chose to study forestry because he thought it was the most specialized major and he was excited to work in the untouched and wild forests of the west. He was a wildland firefighter the summer after his freshman year. Getting paid to hike and use a chainsaw was a dream. He had a lot of fun that summer, but it made him realize it wasn’t entirely what he wanted as a career.
“Outdoor work is fun, it’s just not as fulfilling to me as interacting with people,” he said.
In his summer SAF internship, Griffis gets to work on the things he loves: connecting with people, researching policy, and advocating for natural resources issues from revising the farm bill to modernizing forestry. He’s met legislators and natural resources managers. He’s worked on new and upcoming policy projects.
When Griffis is in school, he works as a student coordinator for the CSU admissions team. He gets to share his experience on campus with others who want to come to Colorado State.
He sees his time at CSU – with graduation on the horizon for spring – as a conglomeration of everything he has done, from his involvement with the Navigators to his time at the Mountain Campus. He is deeply involved in academics on campus, and he always has time for music, friendships, and adventures.
“My experience on campus isn’t just my major, it’s every dimension of my life,” Griffis said.
“It’s nice to be at a university where good work is happening. I’m proud to be a part of that.”