December 7, 2003
To Whom It May Concern,
I am writing this letter on behalf of my friend and Master’s research project supervisor Jon Kohl. I was first put in contact with Jon through a mutual friend the fall of my first year of graduate school. I was lucky enough to take on a research project that had interested Jon while he managed the Public Use Planning Program for RARE Center for Tropical Conservation. My project focused on determining the obstacles Honduran protected area managers face in implementing strategic plans.
Jon played an integral role in the development and execution of my research project. The research consisted of interviews with protected area managers, those with experience in protected area planning, and government officials. Jon’s expertise in planning, his knowledge of the country, and his contacts were invaluable to the success of my research project; he helped me devise a work plan, establish contacts, and even find a place to live.
More importantly, however, Jon was dedicated to me and my work, offering continual support and encouragement. He spent countless hours helping steer me through the intricacies of organizing and conducting my project, always offering feedback. Willing to answer all my questions and pushing me to find the answers on my own, Jon helped me improve my qualitative research techniques and my proposal and report writing skills. Additionally, I was constantly challenged by Jon to think about a problem or an assumption from a different angle or probe deeper into an issue. This was perhaps the most beneficial and important lesson I learned from Jon, that there is always more to learn.
Jon’s enthusiasm towards my project kept me excited throughout the year and a half we worked together and gave me confidence in the work I produced. In addition, we developed a mutual respect for each other and I will continue to ask for and value his opinions and guidance on any work that I do in the future. I was lucky not only to work with Jon but also to get to know him as a friend, and I unreservedly recommend him as a supervisor, trainer, or educator.
March 15, 2006