Name: Karina Garcia
College: UC Berkeley
Major: Molecular Environmental Biology
Project Site: Elkhorn Slough, Monterey, CA
I was born and raised in Salinas, CA. I am currently pursuing my Molecular Environmental Biology degree at UC Berkeley. I have helped with avian research in the past and am excited to study and help protect local bird species. I hope to someday obtain a graduate degree in environmental sciences.
My interest for entomology began with a spider biology course, and this interest quickly flourished into a passion and potential future career as a field entomologist.
My senior year in college I started to volunteer in a lab which combined my interest of entomology with research directed towards the conservation of birds in California vineyards. While my experience with ornithology is limited, I am excited to become familiar with local birds and to become involved with ongoing conservation efforts.
I look forward to outreaching to the local community about the nature that surrounds them and hopefully instilling some important ideals in the local youth. I am excited to interact and to build meaningful relationships with members of the community.
Name: Daniel Gomez
College: University of Pennsylvania
Major: Earth Science
Project Site: Elkhorn Slough, Monterey, CA
I was born in Santa Cruz and grew up in Castroville, CA so it was quite the change when I headed off to the University of Pennsylvania where I recently obtained my undergraduate degree in Earth Science. I have never done avian research so I am very excited to dive into the ecological aspect of watershed science.
My interest in environmental science stemmed from my childhood passion for dinosaurs. After watching Jurassic Park in the theater when I was merely 3-years old not only did I walk out terrified but also obsessed with these creatures that existed so long ago that humanity itself did not exist. At that point I started to extensively read about dinosaurs, which naturally introduced me to archeology, paleontology, and geology. While my fascination in dinosaurs faded the allure of geology and environmental science only grew.
I entered college as an Earth Science and premed student and seriously considered becoming a doctor for my first two years in college and during the summer of 2010 I had a health internship in Peru where I worked at a clinic close to a shantytown. There I saw the relationship between environmental toxins, both physical and biological, and health. As a result, I decided to research more into the environmental aspects of health and while I researched water related diseases I became entranced by the physical water science aspect.
The following summer I headed off to Guatemala with Engineers Without Borders where I was part of a team that built an irrigation system for a remote poverty-stricken village in the mountains. It was then when I fell in love with hydrology and knew that I wanted to dedicated my life to water issues.
I’m sure this internship will be extremely fun and I look forward to observing first hand the importance that the avian population has on local watersheds and sharing that knowledge with the local community. Hopefully, I will also inspire one or two future environmental scientists.
Interests: Geology, exercise, nutrition, foreign foods, travel, history, reading, and drama, action, and thriller movies/shows.
Long-term Goals: Getting a Masters in Hydrogeology in the near future and perhaps pursue a PhD. I want a job that lets me travel and do environmental research all over the country and the world so I would like to work for the Central Intelligence Agency, National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration, United States Geological Survey, or an international nonprofit.
Name: Emily Cobar
College: University of California, Santa Cruz
Major: Environmental Science
Project Site: Los Angeles, CA
Hello there! My name is Emily and I was born and raised in Los Angeles, CA. It wasn’t until my junior year of high school where I first felt my connection with the natural world. I went backpacking for the first time at Yosemite with eleven other high school students and two leaders who guided the journey. We spend two days and a half in the wilderness and I was very inspired as we learned from nature. Since then, I became very interested in the environment. I still didn’t know exactly what career I wanted to pursue towards the end of my high school year but I knew I wanted to inspire inner-city youth and exposed them to the natural world as our wonderful expedition leaders did.
After I graduated high school, I left the city and attended UC Santa Cruz. It was a drastic change for me to move from city to a very forested school where I didn’t know anyone. However, I’ve always had a sense of adventure and trying new things so I sought for opportunities where I can learn more about myself and my interests. Among many of the volunteer work, internships, and programs I became involved with (you can ask me about!), Natural History Field Quarter greatly impacted me the most as it strengthen my connection to the natural world. In this 10-week program, I developed naturalist skills of observation, identification (of birds, plants, and mammals!), and interpretation. This program exposed me to greater awareness of the natural world in which I am ready to share with my community back at home.
Every break I had from school, I always came back to the city of LA. In every opportunity I had, I’d always volunteered and worked with the LA Audubon. I interned with them my junior and senior year of high school and I always stayed connected since. Although I spent nearly four and a half years in Santa Cruz and grew fond such a beautiful city and school, home is where the heart is which is LA. As a recent grad, I’m ready to pursue a career in environmental education for inner-city youth but would also love to work hands-on in the field!
Interests: I love exploring beaches, mountains, forests, empty fields, meadows, and deserts. I also love to dance but I’m still learning many different styles.
Long-term goals: I’m looking into conservation and education as they are both connected. Sometime in the future I do want to work with wildlife including birds and land mammals.