#IamACE | Nicole Gonzalez
05 Sep 2016

#IamACE | Nicole Gonzalez

 

05 Sep 2016

What is your background? Where are you from?

I’m from Delray Beach, Florida. I went to school at Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL and earned my undergraduate degree in 2014 with a major in Biological Sciences.

What motivated or inspired you to be in conservation?

Nature has always brought me happiness. I wanted a job where I could be outside and enjoy it all the time. Like all other valuable things, these natural spaces need to be protected. I want others to be able to experience them as I do.

How did you find ACE/EPIC?

I was part of another AmeriCorps organization, Arizona Conservation Corps (AZCC), when I learned about ACE. My AZCC crew worked alongside an ACE crew at Chiricahua Nat’l Monument doing trail work. We all became friends.

What duties are you responsible for within your internship role?

I am part of the resource management crew at Saguaro Nat’l Park, Tucson, AZ. I am responsible for conducting any surveys or monitoring projects that require fieldwork. Some examples are deer surveys, Gila monster radio tracking, saguaro growth surveys, and wildlife camera photo monitoring.

What has been one highlight and one challenge of your internship?

The biggest highlight of my internship has been seeing wildlife up-close in the backcountry and witnessing the seasons change in the Sonoran desert.

The biggest challenge has been trying to learn the plants and animals of the Sonoran desert – it’s so diverse!

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What are your future goals after this position ends?

I would like to continue doing fieldwork in beautiful places around the US.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years? Goals in Conservation for the future?

I see myself having lived in a couple different states, possibly working for a federal agency to help protect our public lands.

Do you think this position has helped prepare you for your future career?

This position has introduced me to the National Park Service, prepared me for working in tough field conditions, and taught me many technical skills. All will be helpful in my future.

What do you feel sets ACE apart from other organizations? How has ACE/EPIC helped to shape who you are personally and professionally?

I have met a lot of very different and great people interning in the conservation world. ACE has especially shown me how to work as part of a team.

What advice can you offer to future corps members and interns who are looking to get into the conservation field?

Even if you do not go into a career in conservation, working with a corps on public lands is a rewarding, fun, and memorable experience. It brings you closer to nature and tests your character.

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