Name: Erica Gaeta
College: Humboldt State University
Major: Wildlife Conservation Biology/Applied Vertebrate Ecology
Project Site: Chugach National Forest- Cordova, Alaska
Hola, I am Erica from Los Angeles, California! From a very young age I have been fascinated by wildlife and plants. My fascination for wildlife came from programs like National Geographic, Animal Planet, and PBS shows such as Magic School Bus. Since I lived in the city, I observed the animals that live in my urban surroundings and expanded my curiosity for wildlife by watching these television programs. My parents grew up in rural small town in Mexico, and as children they learned about what plants they could eat or use as medicine, as well as which were poisonous. When ever my parents had the opportunity, they wanted my siblings and myself to gain outdoor experience by taking us to their hometown in Mexico or to beaches and National Parks in California. Through my parents, I learned about many plants and have also developed a strong connection to nature. My outdoor experience was limited but, I always knew I wanted to pursue a career that would allow me to be outdoors working for the protection of animals. I decided to go to Humboldt State University (HSU) because of it’s beautiful Redwood forest, wildlife, and science program. My experience at HSU was amazing coming from a city and having the opportunity to live in a place full of natural beauty. I recently earned my bachelor’s degree in Wildlife Conservation Biology with a minor in Studio Art and I am extremely excited to be part of Environment for the Americas! I look forward to work with other interns, wildlife biologist, and community members in Cordova, Alaska! As well as learning about migratory shorebirds and Alaska’s wildlife and plant community!
Long-term goals:I plan to take a year or two off from school to gain hands on experience to solidify my career path, then continuing my education to earn my Ph.D. I strive to be a naturalist, conservationist, and ecologist in hopes to share my passion with others to promote conservation and sustainability. I also plan to merge wildlife conservation with social justice issues.
Interests: Hiking, outdoor education, community outreach, social justice, conservation, biking, learning about nature, making observations, and solving problems.