EPIC Intern Profiles – The Catalina Island Conservancy

The Catalina Island Consevancy (CIC)

Rutu Patel

Rutu Patel

ACE CIC Invasive Plant Management Intern (CHIRP)

Rutu is originally from Gujarat, India where she pursued a BS in Environmental Science. She came to the United States in 2010 to pursue an MA in Environmental Studies from the University of Illinois, Springfield. She is particularly interested in ecological restoration and has previously worked on a prairie restoration project with the Illinois Audubon Society. Currently she is working on Catalina Island as a CHIRP intern doing a lot of invasive plant removal. In the future, she plans to study more about ecological restoration integrated with changing plant distribution in the face of the continuously changing climate.

Nate Blanks

Nate Blanks

ACE CIC Catalina Habitat Improvement & Restoration (CHIRP) Lead

Nate attended Skidmore College, where he received a degree in environmental studies. While at school, Nate worked for a local non-profit land trust, focusing on an outreach program as well as having the chance to do some lobbying. He also spent about six months studying in New Zealand, participating in a field school for the first month and a half that included coral surveying and coastal geomorphology in the Cook Islands, followed by various geology and cultural studies on the North Island. With no desire to leave, he spent the summer doing stream restoration and invasive plant work on a Norfolk Island farm and with the Australian National Park Service. Like many other recent graduates, he is still trying to figure out what he wants to ultimately pursue in his career and so is grateful to ACE for the opportunities and experiences they provide. Nate began his ACE experience in summer 2013, completing a 3-month internship as the Backcountry Invasive Plant Intern on Catalina Island with the Catalina Island Conservancy in California, he then served as the ACE Native Fish Management Intern in Pinetop, Arizona with the Arizona Game & Fish with a focus on native fish management, monitoring, and electroshocking surveying. Nate has returned to the Catalina Island Conservancy as the CHIRP Lead. In the near future, he wants to either continue traveling the U.S (originally from Boston), find some environmental policy work, or some combination of the two!

Erin Andreatta

Erin Andreatta

ACE CIC Backcountry Invasive Plant Intern

Erin recently finished her Master of Public Administration in Environmental Science and Policy from Columbia University in New York City. She holds a Bachelor’s of Science in Biology from the University of California, Davis. Her Masters was designed to produce individuals who understand both the science and policy of environmental issues, and are able to communicate these issues effectively. Erin is passionate about being in the field as a restoration biologist, and hopes to facilitate effective communication with policy makers about the environmental problems she faces. Currently, Erin is working for the Catalina Island Conservancy as an invasive plant technician. Here, she’s working to achieve CHIRP’s (Catalina Habitat Improvement and Restoration Project) core mission of continued domination of the island’s ecosystems by native plants for the immediate and long term future. Her department focuses on the long term success of native plants through remote identification and removal of invasive species using GIS technologies. Target species include fig, fennel, acacia, genista, palm trees, and pine trees. Treatments include both manual removal and herbicide application when necessary. Erin is an avid mountain biker and road cyclist. She also enjoys any outdoor activity that can be facilitated by the Sierra Nevada mountains including white water kayaking, hiking, and snowboarding.

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