2014 Bioblitz at Golden Gate National Recreation Area

The Golden Gate Bioblitz occurred for 24 hours from Friday, March 28th to Saturday, March 29th, and the following RMSSN alumni received funding from the National Park Service to participate:


Kim Denali Byers LakeGreetings, my name is Kim Arthur and I was born and raised on the high plateau of northeast Arizona, on the Navajo Reservation. I am of the Salt clan and born for the Tangle People clan. My maternal grandfather’s clan is Bitterwater, and my paternal grandfather’s clan is Coyote Pass, and I am Navajo.
           Growing up in a rural area allowed for many days to climb red rocks, walk among the sage brush, see far into the distance and enjoy various aspects of nature. With this background and seeing the disparity of socioeconomics and lack of American Indian college graduates, I set in my mind to go to college and complete it. I attended and graduated from the University of Arizona in Tucson with a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature and a minor in American Indian Studies. My teaching career began soon after and was back in school as an educator at Job Corps and then as a student, to get my professional teaching certification. Balancing teaching during the day and attending school at night was a challenge, and it paid off as I passed my exams and was certified to teach in Arizona. My desire to give back to communities and kids took me back to my home town and schools as a teacher and to a few schools in Tucson. After several years of teaching middle school and high school, I decided that more education and a career shift were where I wanted and needed to go.
          My next chapter was as a graduate student in the School of Information Resources and Library Sciences through the Knowledge River (KR) Program at the University of Arizona in Tucson. Through KR, I worked with the University of Arizona Main Library and then at the Pima County Public Library. The latter allowed me to assist in programs such as Family Read Aloud Night and Homework Help on the Tohono O’odham reservation. Additionally, I was assisted with teaching GED classes, researching English Language Learning programs, being a representative of the library in community outreach events like Tucson Meet Yourself, the Refugee Health Fair, Tucson Book Festival and other programs for Adult Services Outreach. Through KR I was also able to intern as a Media Archives Assistant at the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian Cultural Resources Center in Suitland, Maryland.
          Through my collective experiences, I knew I wanted to continue work in outreach, in a rural community, to incorporate environmental, cultural and historical education, and work with an organization that fostered these goals. Through RMSSN I was able to learn more about mentorship and be a mentor. This program opened up the possibilities of working for and with a park. I soon applied and was accepted for an internship at Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve in Copper Center, Alaska, where I worked on park interpretation, partnership outreach, and visitor services. These experiences along with volunteering at a museum allowed me to come back to Alaska and work as a student hire with the then Museum Curator. I have been since been working at Denali National Park and Preserve, managing the museum collection that consists of historic artifacts, photos, archives and natural resources. This looks different than field research, but it is still conservation and telling the collective history of our parks. This has also allowed me to be a role model to other Native students as they are looking for their place within the park system. It is a privilege to know that I can be that Native professional that can encourage others to pursue higher education, community service and a career all while supporting conservation, sustainability and ecological-minded living.



Kallie Barnes Picture

I have a passion for biological sciences, environmental stewardship, sustainability, good quality food, getting my hands dirty and everything natural and wild. I graduated from the University of Colorado-Boulder, in 2012, with a Bachelor of Arts in both Environmental Studies and Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. I am currently a Field Instructor at Cal-Wood Education Center and it’s perfect because I get to share my passions and work, my eight hour days, outside!



I was born in Virginia Beach and raised there for most of my life. Outside of school my childhood was spent going to the beach and playing soccer, rarely was any day spent inside. I continued to play soccer through high school and was fortunate to receive a scholarship to play at Hampden-Sydney College.  I accepted the scholarship and attended Hampden-Sydney where I planned to be a biology major. After enrolling my interests quickly shifted (as they do at 18 and they still continue to shift) to economics. I graduated with a degree in Economics and Commerce but my interest in the biological and environmental sciences never waned. Upon graduation I moved to Washington, D.C to take a job with a large government consulting firm. I quickly realized this was not the career path I wanted to be on so I quit and took some time to re-evaluate. (in Europe) I decided to return to school for Environmental Science. I now attend Johns Hopkins University where I am completing coursework towards a Master’s degree in Environmental Science. My main area of focus is Geographic information science and its application to public health. I hope to pursue a career in public health research when I graduate in May 2013.


Ribarich_MattI’m Matt Ribarich, a senior majoring in EBIO (ecology) and Environmental Science at the University of Colorado Boulder. During the field season I study alpine plans above treeline in the Rocky Mountains, and am originally from the beautiful desert tablelands of Pueblo, Colorado. I am interested in human culture, natural history, music, and plants.



Waweru_Ray“Love what you find and find what you love.” I saw this quote from the bumper sticker of a car when I was living in Rochester, NY and it stuck with me ever since. I landed in the US from Kenya in 2008 to attend Goshen College where I studied Environmental Science and also played varsity soccer.

During my time here it has been a journey of loving what I find and finding what I love; I joined RMSSN after learning about it through an internship program with the Student Conservation Association. After graduating college on Earth Day, April 22nd, 2012; I know it’s kinda weird,  I had the pleasure of joining The Nature Conservancy and worked for the Central-Western New York chapter in Rochester, NY. I recently moved to politics central; Washington, DC where I work for the Africa Program in communications, and government relations.

Through these roles I have experienced what conservation means in different contexts and I believe that this is what drives RMSSN, by bringing people from across the globe; not just the US, for one week to love what they find and find what they love.

I take pleasure in hiking, painting, playing football (soccer) and jamming to reggae music.



Kate grew up in Houston, Texas, where she first developed a love of nature and the outdoors amid the bustling city.  As a Public Relations major at the University of Texas in Austin, Kate became interested in connecting people to the natural world. For this reason, she enrolled in UT’s Environmental Bridging Disciplines Program, which led her to work as a trail guide at Austin’s Wild Basin Wilderness Preserve. After graduating with her B.S. in Public Relations, along with minors in Business and Environmental Studies, Kate became a Student Conservation Association Intern at the Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge, where she participated in research and public outreach. After her SCA internship, she worked as a naturalist for an outdoor education school in New Hampshire. These experiences guided her to pursue a Master’s degree in Ecology at Colorado State University.

Kate received her M.S. in Ecology in Fall 2012. Her Master’s research focused on sandhill crane behavior in response to birdwatchers on a national wildlife refuge in Colorado’s San Luis Valley. In addition to her Master’s research, Kate worked with Great Sand Dunes National Park to interview local community members about their attitudes and perceptions toward the park’s wildlife management practices. She also partnered with fellow graduate student, Gloria Sumay, on a similar project Gloria was conducting in Tanzania. Kate and Gloria received CSU’s 2011 Center for Collaborative Conservation Fellowship, in which Kate assisted Gloria in conducting interviews with people living near a national park in Tanzania. Kate began the Ph.D. program in Ecology at CSU in Spring 2013, and hopes to pursue her research interest in social-ecological systems, specifically with regard to building human resilience and adaptation to climate change.


972289_10201148167162746_1682302302_nYifan Zhang is currently a junior studying geochemistry at Brown University in Providence Rhode Island.  An avid photographer and scuba diver, he is a member of the Rhode Island Student Climate Coalition working toward policies change in dealing with climate change.  Yifan also enjoys cooking in his free time.


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