Alumni Name: Amanda Haddock
Dates Served: Feb-May 2018
What role(s) was Amanda in: Crew Member
Location: Dulzura, CA
Q: What were you doing before ACE?
A: Before ACE I was in college working towards a BS in geology. I decided to transfer colleges, took a gap semester and joined ACE during that gap period.
Q: How did you hear about ACE?
A: I had a friend from high school
Q: Walk me through your time at ACE – What was your favorite aspect of being an ACE PW Crew member?
A: My favorite part was sharing stories with my crew mates. We were all from different backgrounds, states, and interests but came together in CA for similar reasons of wanting to learn new things and do good work in the conservation field.
Q: What was it like living in your term location? Any favorite activities? Hikes? What did you do on your off days?
A: I loved the house we had in Dulzura. I typically woke up before anyone else and would enjoy eating breakfast under the trees and listening to the birds. Many of us would go for walks in the BLM land that was less than a mile from our housing location and we all tried to have 1 night where we had a group potluck dinner. Another girl and I would try to spend a day taking the bus into San Diego and enjoy a day at the beach, trying new restaurants, and going for short hikes in town. I even rented a car some weekends when I had 6 days off in a row and took a trip to Phoenix, AZ!
Q: Did you have a favorite project? Why?
A: My favorite project mentally was vertical mulching and habitat restoration in the Mojave Desert based in the Ridgecrest area. I learned so much about myself during this time and really got to dive into the intersections of creativity and conservation. I recognized how beautiful different barren landscapes are, how significant they are to our natural world, and how these places can be overlooked sometimes.
Q: In what ways did ACE shape your life personally and professionally?
A: I gained so much confidence from ACE in terms of my abilities to conduct field work, work long hours, work in all weather elements, and be a team member. I took away so many transferable skills and practical skills that have boosted my resume more than any college credits ever have.
Q: How long have you been an ACE Alumni? Where are you now?
A: I became an Alumni recently at the end of October and am currently living in Southwest Washington State.
Q: What are some of your favorite extracurricular activities?
A: I love hiking!! I try to go for at least 1 hike per week outside of work. I also love spin, cooking, painting, and going to coffee shops to read.
Q: What excites you most about becoming an ACE Alumni Ambassador?
A: I am so excited to be an ACE Alumni Ambassador because I wanted to connect with more people entering the conservation field and share curiosities and stories.
Q: If a prospective ACE member were to ask you what the benefits of joining ACE are, what would you say?
A: The benefits are abundant and endless and new benefits will keep surfacing even years after your end of term! A couple major benefits I will highlight are adaptability and teamwork, as well as strong fieldwork experience. I have been in many interviews for scientific research positions in which employers mentioned I had more field experience than any other applicant because of my experience with ACE.