Discover Your Island

Dr. Larisa Ford

An Outstanding Islander

Earth, Wind, and Fired Up

Since earning her Master of Public Administration from the Island University in 2003, alumnus Dr. Larisa Ford contributed to the advancement of knowledge and success in the ecological world. Her passion for the field has helped her earn a rewarding career opportunity as the National Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Soil, Water, and Air Program Lead and the National BLM Border Coordinator for the Northern and Southern International Borders in Washington, D.C.

“The most exciting aspect of my career is that I love it,” said Ford. “I enjoy working for the different agencies of the Department of Interior and focusing my efforts on protection of natural resources that the federal government has the responsibility to entrust for the American public.”

BLM lands are used for a variety of reasons across the United States, including oil and gas development, solar and wind power development, recreation, and conservation.

“My job is important because I provide policy, guidance, and oversight to the state offices that manage 260 million acres of public land—that’s nearly one-eighth of all land in the United States, as well as 700 million acres of Federal subsurface mineral estate nationwide” said Ford.

One of Ford’s responsibilities is preparing the national budget documents for the BLM’s Soil, Water, and Air Program. She also manages projects that receive annual funding, comment on draft legislation and rulemaking, develop training and curriculum for field related scientists, and update the BLM Soil, Water, and Air Program’s website.

Other job responsibilities require her to coordinate with the Department of Homeland Security, Customs and Border Protection, National Park Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, and other federal, state, local, and non-governmental organizations concerning actions along the borders that impact or could impact federal lands and resources.

“In the future, I hope to continue my career in the Department of Interior, and become a Science Advisor for one of the many bureaus, or, a coordinator of a departmental program within the Department of the Interior,” said Ford.