Where do you work?
I currently work in Ventura for California State Parks with the Natural Resources department, and I also work for the University of California Natural Reserve System- Sedgwick Reserve as Outreach Coordinator in the Santa Ynez Valley.
For state parks I am mostly doing field work. From invasive plant management, vegetation surveys, endangered animal surveys and outreach, to growing plants in our nursery for upcoming restoration projects, to nocturnal pollinator studies, and much more. With the UC position, I put together weekly newsletters, help with volunteers and docents, correspond with people who want to come see the reserve, and help out with restoration plots within the reserve.
How did Cal Lutheran help to prepare you for your current path?
Cal Lutheran helped prepare me for my current jobs by exposing me to some of the terminology, programs, and techniques that I have used in my job. The classes I took also gave me knowledge that have helped me immensely in the field.
What advice would you give to the current or prospective students of your major?
Take lots of both biology and geology classes! The special topics courses are also incredibly helpful later on down the road. Environmental Planning was one I took, it helped me realize that I didn’t want to go into planning as a full-time job, but I learned about different documents and permits that I work with in my current job. Take a wide variety in the ES department as you might not know what you will actually use once you graduate and you might even be surprised as to what knowledge gives you the upper hand against others wanting the same job. Study abroad and take environmental classes! I can’t say how much it helped to see how another country deals with the same issues we have and how different the approaches are.
Why was Cal Lutheran the right school for you?
Cal Lutheran was the right choice for me. It had the small class sizes, the teachers knew my name and I felt comfortable going in and just talking to my professors about my classes and what I wanted to achieve after graduation, and I had incredible one-on-one help. What I miss the most is the friendships I made while at Cal Lutheran, and being able to see my friends and classmates everyday. The friendships have continued though, and we all make the time to visit and call when we have a chance.