A 0.5 selfie of Mo, a white non-binary smiling individual with short brown hair. They wear clear glasses, a brown and tan cap, a neon orange sweatshirt, and a red windbreaker. They stand on the beach at the edge of the water. Small waves are in the background.

Introduction to Mo and Golden Gate Recreational Area

Hello, fellow birders, nature lovers, and disabled icons,

My name is Mo (they/them), and I’m so excited to be joining the Birdability team as an Accessibility Intern at Golden Gate National Recreation Area. The area is located on the ancestral and present-day land of the Coast Miwok, Graton Rancheria, and Ohlone people, who have lived on and stewarded it for over 10,000 years (Sense of Place Series). 

Since I can remember, I’ve always loved the outdoors. It is a place of ever-growing wonder, peaceful solitude, and deep connection to the world around me. Towards the middle of high school, I started experiencing chronic pain, which made it increasingly more challenging to access the outdoor spaces I loved. Inaccessibility even made me question whether I could pursue a career in conservation and ecological research as I had dreamed of doing. But I went for it anyway! 

I am now a third-year undergrad at UC Berkeley studying Conservation and Resource studies, with a focus on Restoration Ecology and Climate Change. I plan to pursue a career in coastal restoration ecology while actively working to reduce accessibility barriers for disabled scientists and nature lovers.

Golden Gate Recreation Area

Golden Gate Recreational Area is shown with a large green lawn in the forefront, several trees and buildings on either side. In the background is the Golden Gate Bridge, with a hillside behind it.
Source: “Golden Gate National Recreation Area.” Viator, https://www.viator.com/San-Francisco-attractions/Golden-Gate-National-Recreation-Area/overview/d651-a1064

This past week, I attended my first meeting with the Birdability cohort and met my fellow interns. I left feeling emotional, as this was the first time I had met a group where I felt seen for the unique interests and identities I hold: all of us living and working at the intersection of disability justice and environmental conservation. 

As someone who grew up visiting Golden Gate Recreational Park with my family, landing this job feels like a full-circle moment. I am so excited to work in a place with such beautiful biodiversity. Made up of 19 different ecosystems, with over 2,000 fauna and flora species, including over 250 types of birds, Golden Gate Park is truly astounding (“Park” and “Birds”). I can’t wait to embark on this journey and look forward to documenting my adventure here. 

 

Till next time,

Mo

Resources: 

 

Work Cited: 

“Birds.” Golden Gate National Recreation Area, National Park Service. Available at: https://www.nps.gov/goga/learn/nature/birds.htm#:~:text=In%20one%20of%20the%20most,waterbirds%20breed%20on%20offshore%20islands

Heiman, Slyvie. “Sense of Place Series: Welcome to Golden Gate National Recreation Area.” NatureBridge,  9 March, 2022. Available at: https://naturebridge.org/blog/2022-03-09-sense-place-series-welcome-golden-gate-national-recreation-area#:~:text=The%20Golden%20Gate%20National%20Recreation%20Area%20is%20on%20the%20ancestral,dates%20back%20over%2010%2C000%20years

“Parks For The People.” Golden Gate National Recreation Area, National Park Service. Available at: https://www.nps.gov/goga/index.htm.

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