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I am a Center for Collaborative Conservation fellow for my thesis project located in the El Triunfo biosphere reserve in Chiapas, Mexico. I obtained this fellowship for communicating with coffee farmers in controlling coffee rust. I worked passionately with different stakeholders, including the reserve management, governmental sectors, nonprofits, and producers to encourage beneficial coffee plantation practices. Partnering with a Mexican Government Institution provided valuable insight on the complexity of the coffee growers system, including the many outside sources that affect the livelihoods of the coffee farmers, and the conservation of the reserve. I communicated these findings to the community via engaging workshops, focus groups and promotional materials. This experience continues to inspire me to be a professional, highly motivated, enthusiastic and pro-active team member, with the ability to work in very different environments.
After my thesis work I was hired on by this Mexican Government Institution to continue statistical analysis on the treatment of Coffee Rust.
I also worked for the Center for Protected Area Management as a course coordinator for a summer course given to park rangers from Latin America, where I continued to learn conservation challenges between stakeholders in park management.
During my time as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Paraguay, I had to rely purely on my own motivation, giving me the confidence to strengthen my capacity as a natural leader. Flexibility and patience was necessary. Yet, I had experience being a leader before this time. While in Washington DC, I manage our non-profit bookstore and staff, in Dupont Circle called Books for America. At this time I recognized my ability to be a successful manager: a calm, productive, optimistic, motivator, while being focused.
For me, a career within conservation is not a sudden decision or whim; it is a career goal I have been working towards for several years. I am committed in achieving this goal