For this week’s #IamACE, we met up with Katt Lundy, an Assistant Crew Leader (ACL) with ACE Arizona, working on the Meder Canyon Trails Project in the City of Santa Cruz.
[ACE] Can you tell me about your background?
[KL] I’m from Brooklyn, New York. I’ve been with ACE for a year. I graduated with a degree in geology.
What motivated you to get into conservation?
The whole outdoor aspect of studying geology got me into it. I wanted to continue the fieldwork aspect and do more physical practical work.
How did you find out about ACE?
The Internet, and I’ve got some friends who had worked for ACE who recommended it.
Can you tell me about a highlight and a challenge you’ve had during your internship?
A highlight for me is all the chainsaw related work I’ve gotten to experience. We’ve been on a lot of cool projects involving felling hazard trees and I’ve really enjoyed that.
A challenge has been learning how to live a different lifestyle. It can be very busy and chaotic at times. But this can be positive, because when you go on project you’ve got all this time to get to know people on a very personal level, and it adds a really nice teamwork aspect.
You began your term with ACE as a crewmember, but you’ve recently become an assistant crew leader. Can you tell me about the transition between the two positions?
Well, I want to be a part of ACE more seriously. Being an ACL is a stepping-stone to do that. The position is different from being a crewmember because you have more responsibilities including more office-based work and driving an ACE vehicle. The transition has been pretty easy for me though.
Do you feel that the staff at ACE has been supportive of your desire to achieve a more supervisory role?
Yeah, definitely. I use the phrase ‘mutual respect’ a lot to refer to the relationship between the staff and the crews. They are really communicative and supportive.
Do you have any plans for the future after ACE?
I’ve been thinking about going to graduate school for forestry eventually.
Do you think that this position has helped prepare you for the future?
Absolutely. It’s given me a lot of experience with a leadership role, working with other people, technical skills. It’s been all-encompassing.
What do you think sets ACE apart from other organizations?
I think there’s a lot more communication and freedom to choose to do what you want…If you apply yourself you can get a lot out of it.
Do you have any advice for people looking to get into conservation or join ACE?
Keep an open mind. You can get a lot of positive things from this job if you strive for it.