Featured Rewildologist: Courtney Gonzalez
I am a full time student, I work for the State of Alaska, and I volunteer with a non-profit doing partnership and community engagement with wildlife conservation partners overseas.
Fantastic! It sounds like connecting people is your thing and a huge joy of ours, too. How did you get into this field?
I started out in a less traditional way. I was an army brat, so I got used to moving around all the time. I knew I loved animals, traveling, and adventure, but didn’t really know what I wanted to do. When I moved back to Colorado after a few years of working at an elementary school in Germany, I found a zookeeping degree and actually got my Associate’s in Zookeeping Technology. I wound up working as a zookeeper for a few years and met the most amazing people working towards wildlife conservation. While I loved the hands on work and the relationships you build with your animals, I found that I was really interested in the field conservation projects that we supported and educated guests on. I started going to every networking and fundraising event I could and volunteered at every opportunity. Shortly after, I went to Tanzania with a group from the Katie Adamson Conservation Fund, and realized that my real passion was in community engagement and partnership opportunities overseas. I was instantly hooked and shortly after, organized my own trip based on meeting with and supporting women in Tanzania. I have since led two conservation-based trips to Nepal as well, and I hope to continue doing so while I work on furthering my education in conservation biology. The goal is to contribute to the amazing work being done by this community of hardworking and passionate individuals that are all working to save wildlife!
Follow your passion and say yes to every opportunity. I’ve done things I never imagined were in my possible reality because I said yes to attending an event, which led me to meeting someone amazing, and then continued to lead to more amazing opportunities.
Thank you so much for your time, Courtney!
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