A Career in Conservation Begins



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Ashley Hernandez is an Environmental Science Major and Intern in our Community Habitat Restoration experiences.

When her geology professor at San Diego State University recommended the Community Habitat Restoration Internship at Nature Collective, Ashley Hernandez checked it out online. She was captivated.

“As an environmental science major, I aspire to work in the environmental field improving the relations between our natural world and people,” shares Ashley. “From my college courses I have learned a great deal about our human impacts, such as habitat fragmentation.”

Above: Ashley is on the ground with Nature Collective mentors who are guiding her in best practices to conduct community habitat restoration experiences—events where people come together and help restore habitats indigenous to Southern California.

Ashley adds, “The best part of my experience is learning about native plants and seeing wildlife utilizing restored habitat. I enjoy expanding my knowledge about San Diego’s natural landscapes and becoming better at identifying our local flora and fauna.” She is looking ahead into careers that center on wildlife conservation, national forest services, geospatial technology, and more.

She mentions how she enjoys watching the passion everyone has for protecting nature. Not just with our organization, but by others who volunteer to help remove invasive plants, or who water newly installed seedlings grown in our native plant nursery.

Ashley monitors the once-disturbed and fragmented sites that are flourishing now with pollinators and animals that need food and shelter. New plants are holding down soils and reducing erosion. Networking is also one of her favorite experiences in her internship which broadens her perspectives.

“Habitat restoration makes me appreciate the work that goes into re-establishing habitat for wildlife conservation,” she adds. “It inspires me to find a professional career in the conservation field because of how rewarding the work can be.”

For others who are considering internships with us, who wish to volunteer, and who are leaning into their own conservation careers, Ashley declares it is all worth the effort. She elaborates, “The habitat restoration internship is a great experience for people who love to learn about San Diego’s native plants and enjoy working outside. I feel more confident with identifying common plants in San Diego because of this internship.”

We honor and thank Ashley Hernandez during Women’s History Month as she is an emerging leader in the field of environmental science. Not only does Ashley learn from us, we learn from her and others in our internship program. We are expanding our efforts to make wild places more accessible so that everyone can connect with, experience and protect nature.

Thank You, February 2022 Supporters

Because of you, careers are beginning for our interns who are studying environmental science and education. Because of you, lands and waters are healthier at San Elijo Lagoon and in the areas we save and restore. Because of you, people from near and far are connecting with nature, experiencing its healing benefits, and protecting our world in stewardship.

Individuals + Foundations + Funds

Christie + Duncan Beniston
Michael Conley and Susan Steele Charitable Fund, Schwab Charitable
Margaret Crowdes
Charles Cuccaro + Ana Maria Grace
Suzanne Demong via Give Lively
Warren Fox
Jim + Louise Julig
Dana L. King and Nancy M. King Charitable Fund, Schwab Charitable
Charles + Karen Nager
Laurie Strawn
Rita Svec via Give Lively
Judy Thum
Trey White
Renee Zau

In Honor

Heather Creighton in honor of Blue Water Art Sale

We invite you to make a donation in any amount that shows your support for the places and events that are inspiring our lives.

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