Interns and Volunteers

Madison Ono , Conservation Grazing Intern

Madison Ono hails from Huntington Beach and is currently studying at CSUMB, working toward a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Science, Technology and Policy with a concentration in Ecology. She will be working with Rodrigo and the conservation grazing team continuing research that assesses how cattle grazing is affecting the Preserve’s grasslands’ plants. Madison is excited to find what the data reveals, while spending more time on The Preserve and hanging out with the super cool Conservancy team.

Natalie Shuman, CSUMB Intern

Natalie Shuman grew up in Davis, California and when it came time for her to go to college it was an easy decision to come to California State University Monterey Bay.  This May, she graduated with her undergraduate degree in Environmental Studies.

With the Conservancy Natalie is the “free agent” of the interns, helping with whatever projects need the extra hands.  She has been checking the owl and kestrel nest boxes, helped with pond sampling, and tried her hand at bird banding.  She is excited to continue working with the Conservancy throughout the summer and enjoying the amazing views and wildlife the Preserve has to offer.

Alicia Khuon, CSUMB Intern

A transfer student from Stockton, Alicia, is pursuing a degree in Environmental Science with a concentration of Applied Ecology at California State University, Monterey Bay (CSUMB).  She has also joined the Undergraduate Research Opportunities (UROC) community in the summer of 2019. Here at the Conservancy, Alicia will focus her UROC research on the Tricolored Black Birds, using acoustic monitoring at two different sites as well as helping the Conservancy band birds.

With her passion for wildlife conservation, Alicia has been able to learn different projects here at the Preserve under the direction of Dr. Christy Wyckoff; such as vegetation surveys, bird surveys, pond sampling, as well as butterfly surveying.  She is grateful for the opportunity to meet different wildlife biologists who have helped her broaden her perspective for future employment and explore different specialties.

Greer Hoffmann

Greer may be familiar face; that’s because her family are members of The Preserve. You may remember her exploring The Preserve as a young girl, but now she studies Computer Science at Vassar College.

Growing up on The Preserve, Greer naturally loves being outdoors. She also loves working with computers and data. She was attracted to the Conservancy to explore this intersection of data and the outdoors. This summer, in addition to fieldwork, she will be analyzing data from The Preserve’s wildlife cameras.

When she is not working, you can find Greer hiking a Preserve trail, reading, or playing violin. You’ll be able to recognize her with her mis-matched socks and cup of hot tea, even on really warm days.

Max Klotz

Max Klotz was born in New York City and raised in Stanford, California. He did not travel far for college and began attending Stanford University in 2016. He is currently going into his senior year and is pursuing a degree in Environmental Studies. Max is passionate about wild spaces and environmental history. He was attracted to the Conservancy for the opportunity to do work in the field. This summer, Max will be analyzing historical photos of the Santa Lucia Preserve and comparing them to the present day, along with helping out on whichever projects need assistance.

Jeremy Alsaker

Jeremy Alsaker is the most far-flung of our interns this summer, hailing from Carleton College in Minnesota. A rising senior, he is completing his major of Environmental Studies. He first learned about the Preserve when his study program visited Carmel to dig sedge near the Conservancy office with Linda Yamane, a Rumsen Ohlone basketweaver. While he will fill many roles throughout the summer, his main project will be to hike the trails on the Preserve, improving the Conservancy’s data on invasive plant species along the trails and in general. If you see him walking along, be sure to say hello!

Past Interns and Volunteers


Avery Calhoun, CSUMB/UROC Intern

Avery created ArcGIS habitat suitability model for buckwheat plants (Eriogonum spp.) on the Santa Lucia Preserve to improve Smith’s Blue Butterfly (Euphilotes enoptes smithi) surveys.


Caitlyn Barrera, CSUMB/UROC Intern

Caitlyn assisted in an environmental DNA (eDNA) project to detect the presence of federally threatened California tiger salamanders (Ambystoma californiense) in ponds throughout The Preserve.


TJ Francisco, Stanford University

TJ assisted with ecological surveys and restoration initiatives. He also conducted a project analyzing the effect of the Conservancy’s conservation grazing program on insect diversity.


Samantha Faul, Stanford University

Sam helped evaluate impacts of the Conservancy’s conservation grazing program on grassland vegetation and grassland bird communities within The Preserve.

Photo: Scott Blanco

Isabella Fenstermaker, UC Davis

Isabella studied California Tiger Salamanders  (Ambystoma californiense) through pond surveys and environmental DNA (eDNA) analyses.


Max Hofmarcher, CSUMB Intern

Max focused on GIS work at the Rancho Cañada Golf Course Restoration site. He also worked with conservancy staff performing DNA sampling, raptor surveys, and other field work.

Scott Blanco

Scott Blanco, Conservancy Volunteer

Scott participated in California Tiger Salamander and Red-Legged Frog surveys, Tricolored Blackbird capture/banding, oak restoration GIS layers, and invasive species monitoring and treatment.