Department of Applied Environmental Science
ESTP Alum Awarded Service Learning Award and Reflects on Her Work with HSP
Bibiana Carrazco, an Environmental Science, Technology, & Policy alumnus, was awarded the 2023 Environmental Science, Technology, & Policy Service Learning Award for her work with the Habitat Stewardship Project (HSP) as the Community Outreach & Volunteer Coordinator.
We recently touched base with Bibiana to learn about her work with HSP and how her experience at CSUMB has helped her on her current career pathway, and her overall CSUMB experience.
What year did you graduate from CSU Monterey Bay?
What was your major?
Environmental Science, Technology, & Policy (ESTP)
What is your current position? Please provide background information on your job title, duties, and workplace.
Assistant Biologist at Denise Duffy & Associates. I monitor wildlife in projects that involve land development.
Community Outreach and Volunteer Coordinator (AmeriCorps VIP Fellow) at the Habitat Stewardship Project Monterey Bay. I also manage social media accounts and assist with writing and editing of our monthly newsletter.
Did your experience as a science student contribute to your current career pathway? If so, please explain.
I transferred from West Valley College, in Saratoga. My community college experience taught me the theory of Earth systems but I had yet to apply it in the field. When I arrived at CSUMB, with only three semesters left to complete I knew I had to make the most out of it. After completing course requirements my first semester, I immediately signed up for the Intro to GIS & GPS for my second term. Then, I took Quantitative Field Methods, Projects in Natural Resources Management, and Environmental Impact Assessment. I have to say that Dr. Robert Burton is one of the professors I learned the most from. I was in the classroom for 2-3 hours twice a week, then in the field for 4 hours twice a week per course, roughly. I got to know his teaching style pretty well. I personally enjoyed the challenge of being encouraged to solve problems by conducting analyses and interpreting their relevance in today's natural resource management challenges. I took 3 courses that translated to more or less spending 42 hours per week learning from Dr. Burton in a dynamic setting.
In addition, I was also lucky to work on my capstone project with Andi Greene. I am confident that the experiences I was exposed to during my time at CSUMB prepared me for my current career pathway.
I just finished working on a project as an Assistant Biologist at Denise Duffy & Associates in which I monitored wildlife and implemented mitigation and minimization measures at an emergency construction site. I spent six weeks protecting the Western snowy plovers (a California Department of Fish and Wildlife and United States Fish and Wildlife Service listed species) at Carmel River State Beach. During that time I got to interact with different agencies and stakeholders involved in the project. I felt confident and competent to express myself as a scientist thanks to my educational training at CSUMB.
What was your favorite course in the undergraduate program and why?
Intro to GIS & GPS was my favorite course. I got to learn how to use ArcGIS Pro which allowed me to explore, visualize and analyze geo-referenced data. It is state-of-the-art technology used in the field quite a lot and I like making map layouts.
Are there any specific skills that you gained while at CSUMB that have helped contribute to your current success?
I learned to work with my peers. When you are in the real world you are usually working with different agencies, contractors, and the public. Professional and social relationships are super important when applying scientific knowledge. In addition, I learned how to communicate science in a more accessible way, but I believe that skill came from my work at the Habitat Stewardship Project.
Have you had any recent accomplishments that you would like to share with us? (publications, awards, etc.)
I recently got nominated for the 2023 Environmental Science, Technology & Policy Service Learning Award.
Is there anything else you would like to share with us?
I am appreciative for the doors that have opened thanks to my studies at CSUMB
Congratulations on your award and thank you for all that you do, Bibiana!