In Colorado, Sam Ballard participated in the Earth Corps Internship Program through the Rocky Mountain Field Institute, partnered with the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs (UCCS). While being lectured by UCCS professors on various environmental subjects, Ballard hiked in pristine wilderness areas located in the Rocky Mountains. Some of the tasks that the course involved included volunteer restoration work, such as destroying illegal campsites, and building hiking trails leading up to popular 14,000-foot peaks, as well as an academic component. "Although the restoration work is physically demanding and rigorous, this internship gives you the opportunity to challenge yourself. while forming an intimate relationship with nature through stewardship," says Ballard.
Apart from the restoration work, he learned about topics such as climate change in the basin and geomorphology of the Rocky Mountains. Reflecting on his experience, Ballard had the opportunity to overcome some of his fears and even discovered more about himself in the process.