Stephanie and I were selected to present on Latinos & Conservation at the 15th Annual Bay Area Conservation Biology Symposium at the University of California-Davis. We were really busy this week researching for this presentation meanwhile conducting shorebird monitoring at our four sites. We pulled through a hectic week and managed to create a great presentation with lots of information regarding Latino demographics, political power, lack of Latinos in conservation, and attitudes toward the environment. The symposium lacked diversity in both the attendees and presenters. So our presentation was relevant as it highlighted the need to diversify this field.
Throughout the day we had the opportunity to listen to other graduate students and professionals present on conservation issues. Our presentation had a strong message regarding an issue that keeps getting ignored and was very different from the other presentations. The audience had some really good questions for us. They wanted to know our perspective on what were some of the barriers that contribute to the lack of Latinos in science. During breaks, we had a few individuals that come up to us and congratulated us on our presentation. I was very happy to have the only Latina participants come up to us to talk about their majors and EFTA. Both of them were majoring in wildlife biology and were the first in their families to major in a scientific field. They both seemed to have a good amount of experience and are really passionate about what they want to do in the future. Overall, I was very excited to present to other future scientist regarding an issue that has been overlooked for too long. It was also a great opportunity to learn about other conservation issues that students are addressing.