SEI is spotlighting our amazing Climate Corps Fellows who have been working to protect our climate through a wide range of sustainability initiatives. This week’s Fellow spotlight is Benjamin Bravo, Preserve Resources Manager at Sonoma State University Center for Environmental Inquiry.
What is a recent accomplishment that you are proud of?
I was part of a collaboration with the Laguna de Santa Rosa Foundation. I assisted with a camera trap study of wildlife corridors along Copeland Creek. I enjoyed playing such an active role in the early stages of project development. I was able to develop a photo classification platform, assist with research question development, assist with data management, and classify over 5000 wildlife photos. We got some great photos of mountain lions, coyotes, foxes, skunks, squirrels, and mule deer. Data from this collaboration will be a great addition to the camera trap data that we have throughout the rest of the preserve
What is the most important skill or lesson that you have learned during your fellowship?
Self-reliance is important. Sometimes there was no one to help me and there were limited available funds to buy needed supplies. I needed to think creatively to find cost-effective solutions. I sought out advice from experts and took on challenging tasks myself. When I was lucky enough to be part of a strong team, I tried to lead in a way that accentuates the strengths of my teammates.
If you were a sustainable technology or item, which one would you be and why?
Mountain lions are important sustainability items. They maintain healthy trophic structures. They keep the deer populations in check, limiting the over-consumption of oak saplings. Oak trees are important for carbon sequestration and forest ecosystem sustainability.
Climate Corps, a flagship program of SEI, is a bridge-to-career Fellowship program that recruits and places rising climate professionals with local governments, non-profits, educational institutions, and for-profit partners to implement climate change mitigation and resiliency projects.
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