22 Jul The Adventure Isn’t Over…Yet
The past two weeks have been busy at SEKI; from contacting community service groups to planning my two Latino Conservation Week events this weekend. The first event tomorrow will consist of a volunteer project measuring the diameter of some of the sequoias. Since these measurements will contribute to long-term ecological research on the giant sequoias, I am excited to have a volunteer project that focuses on citizen science. On Sunday I will lead Spanish hike along one of the popular trails in the heart of the Giant Forest. During this hike, I plan on educating participants on sequoia ecology as well as background on the second oldest park in the NPS. I am hoping that many people show up to these events and leave the park with more appreciation towards these awesome trees.Last Friday, Rodrigo came to SEKI for his site visit. The day was full of activities in order for Rodrigo to get a good sense of my work in SEKI. In the morning we met with SEKI Superintendent Woody Smeck to have a conversation regarding SEKI’s initiatives to make the park more inclusive for visitors. Although Latinxs do visit Sequoia National Park, the rate is still not representative of the Central Valley demographics, with many counties being 50-60% Latinx. There is still a lot more work to be done to get more Latinx visitors and it was great to hear that the Superintendent recognizes this. After the meeting, Rodrigo and I went to an informal ranger program at one of the popular river access points. The “Reveal Your River” program is an interactive program where rangers provide buckets with clear bottoms and nets to explore the biodiversity of the river. For about an hour, we watched the program progress and saw kids using the buckets in the hopes of spotting one of the many trout that call the river their home. After the program, Rodrigo and I met up with some River Rover volunteers to talk about their volunteer experience. The River Rovers were excited to share how they found out about the program and why the enjoy being part of an awesome volunteer program. These past two weeks have also been full of uncertainty in regards to an extension to my internship, especially since next week marks the end of my ten weeks. Yesterday, however, I received the news that I would be getting an extension and I couldn’t be happier. I am extremely excited to have been given the opportunity to extend my internship and continue working at SEKI. Many thanks to the Hispanic Access Foundation and my Supervisor Emily Zivot for taking the necessary steps to stay at SEKI! I am looking forward to exploring parts of the park I haven’t seen yet as well as continue spending time with the wonderful residents (and new friends) that live at the NPS housing. In the meantime, I will be taking a mini-vacation to go back home to Los Angeles in order to spend time with my family, fly out for the conference in Colorado and eat pan dulce.