Catie Michel, an intern who began working for Ecologistics in the fall of 2016 planning the Deep Ecology Collaboratory, will be leaving for Oregon later this month for an internship with the Wild Rivers Coast Alliance and the Oregon Sea Grant, a branch of NOAA. As an Oregon Sea Grant Summer Scholar, Catie will study experiential, sustainable tourism and how it improves the environment, local economics, and the public’s perception of wildlands.
Catie is an Animal Science major at Cal Poly, with a double minor in Environmental Studies and Indigenous Studies in Natural Resources. She will graduate in December 2017. “We will be sad to lose Catie over the summer,” says Ecologistics Board Chair Michael Jencks, “but we recognize this is a tremendous opportunity for her.” Ecologistics CEO Stacey Hunt is more circumspect. “We need to quit giving Catie such great references,” she complained, “because we really hate sharing her!” Catie handles a wide range of projects for Ecologistics, including web site maintenance, research, helping maintain the fiscal sponsorship program, the Blue C Community Garden, and assisting with Ecologistics conference and event planning and execution. If you came by Ecologistics’ booths at the recent Earth Day or Wild in the Plaza, you saw Catie there.
Growing up in Colorado, Catie has been interested in the environment her entire life. “My family has a cabin in the mountains and we always had pets since I was little,” says Catie. She thought she wanted to be a veterinarian until she took wildlife conservation biology and human dimensions in natural resource management classes at Cal Poly and realized that was what she wanted to do instead.
Catie is just finishing up an education and outreach internship with the Morro Bay National Estuary Program, which began in January 2017. She wrote content for a new app called “Explore the Coast” which will encourage people to get outside and learn about the natural areas of Morro Bay. She also assisted with the planning for this year’s State of the Bay. She will return to SLO in mid-September to resume her studies at Cal Poly.