Summer interns from American Conservation Experience (ACE) Emerging Professional Internship Corps (EPIC) have left the Island. Mayra Diaz and Maritza Martinez worked with native plants for around three months, while Candice Carrasco and Valerie Alcantar targeted invasive plants on Catalina for almost six months. Their work definitely made a difference on the Island, but they would say that the experience also made an indelible impact on them.

Mayra and Maritza worked in the Ackerman Native Plant Nursery as well as in the field with seed collection and survivorship monitoring. Candice and Valerie participated in plant surveys and removing invasive species, among other responsibilities.

“It’s been amazing seeing how everyone’s work meshes together. It’s not just what we do, it’s what the whole Conservancy does that makes a difference,” said Valerie. “Seeing how people who work at the Conservancy live and work on a day-to-day basis was an eye opener. I can definitely see myself doing this type of work long term.”

Internship opportunities occur throughout the year. These incredible individuals are vital in helping preserve the Island’s 42,000 acres of open space.