Doris Duke Conservation Scholars: Notes from the field
Conservation Northwest / Aug 24, 2022 / Central Cascades, Work Updates
Staff members, Jen and Laurel, recap their research-filled summer with Doris Duke Conservation Scholars.
This summer, the Central Cascades Watershed Restoration Program had the good fortune of working with two bright young interns – Tracy Mai and Minerva Rivera – from the Doris Duke Conservation Scholars Program, which works to promote biocultural conservation – a broad endeavor to preserve the integrity of communities, their interdependent members (both humans and other species), and the ecosystems in which they reside.
Filled with drive for an inclusive-conservation future, Minerva and Tracy helped build the foundation for a native plant propagation program on the Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest in support of riparian restoration and improving elk forage in the Greenwater River corridor, an issue of great importance to local Tribes. Both students embraced the uncertainties and challenges of the project with grace and curiosity.
Their work ethic and humor got us through hot days in the field, and the data they collected and organized sets us up for success for the project’s next phase – engaging local communities and youth to propagate the right plants for the restorative work we need to implement on the forest, and in a way that honors our indigenous ancestors that have stewarded this land since time immemorial. We absolutely loved working with these kind, young scholars. Tracy and Minerva give us hope that the future of conservation will be more diverse and equitable, leading to more creative and durable conservation outcomes that benefit wildlife and people.