Loving the Earth Inspires You: A Preamble as a Wildlife Intern

Just a thought…as someone in the world who has been exposed to the contentious debate around climate change and sustainability (which is often showcased as a race humans are losing). I’ve always wondered how I have contributed to my surrounding environment and what I could do to lessen this debate, whether that be volunteering at a local urban ecology center, or simply picking up trash on the ground, eventually inspiring me to get involved in research and organizational contributions. So, welcome to my journey doing just that! My name is Citlali Solis and I am so excited to be joining the wildlife conservation team as an intern at the Golden Gate National Recreation Area.

A little introduction about myself:

 I was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and recently moved to Denver, Colorado. So I’ve been immersed in two different urbanscapes as well as two very different biomes that I appreciate for their unique features. I finished my first year and a half of undergrad at Saint Louis University – Madrid, where I studied environmental science and international relations. I am currently taking a break from school to join this amazing opportunity in the Bay Area of California! As we can tell, from my short roster of locations mentioned, I love traveling and learning as much as I can about the area where I reside. Even though I may not know the ins and outs of biota in a region, I am more than happy to learn as much as possible about the ecology of an area to gain a deeper understanding of the intersections between people and the natural world.

A view from a 10-mile hike around Mount Tam.
A small lagoon right outside of the intern housing at Golden Gate National Recreation Area.

I was extremely interested in this internship because of the urban adjacency to a huge natural landscape, and although I may not have the most experience with wildlife and fieldwork, I know I will grow and learn so much in this position. I am still getting accustomed to living in a new city but have come to love the space I will be working in for the next year.

The first day of fieldwork involved walking on the beach while doing Snowy Plover monitoring which was a great introduction to northern coastal California birds such as seagull subspecies and working with natural resources. I can’t wait to learn more about wildlife as an intern and spokesperson as an environmental activist. 

Action on behalf of life transforms. Because the relationship between self and the world is reciprocal, it is not a question of first getting enlightened or saved and then acting. As we work to heal the earth, the earth heals us.” ― Robin Wall Kimmerer, Braiding Sweetgrass

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