Getting My Feet Wet

Getting My Feet Wet

Hola! Me llamo Andrés (they/them) and I’m working as a Biology Assistant at Fort Point/ Muir Woods within the Golden Gate National Recreation Area (GGNRA) in California. I’m part of the Natural Resource Division working in the Aquatics & Wetlands team. This summer as part of my Mosaic in Science internship, I’ll be working on 3 main core projects:


  1. A fish diet study looking to identify food preference of two federally listed fish: Coho salmon (Oncorhynchus kisutch) and Steelhead trout (Oncorhynchus m. irideus). Will do non-lethal fish sampling involving capturing, stomach flushing, and analyze contents under a microscope to identify and count food items.
  2. Do water quality sampling to create a profile of Redwood Creek focusing on isolated pools to determine differences between locations.
  3. Conduct an inventory for the non-native New Zealand mudsnail (Potamopyrgus antipodarum) following up on a survey done in 2019 to determine if there’s been a change in distribution.

Stay tuned for future updates on these projects!

More About Me

Andrés Fishing for Coho salmon in fish trap in creek
(Fishing in a fish box trap)

I’m Queer Latinx. I was born in Pereira, Colombia and have lived in the US since I was 8 years old. I was raised in Connecticut and moved to Massachusetts  to get my bachelor’s degree in natural resource conservation from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. I’ve lived in San Francisco for the past 7 years and used to work for the San Francisco Recreation and Park Department. 

I’m currently a masters student in the integrative biology program at San Francisco State University within the Vredenburg Lab studying disease ecology of amphibians. I’m working towards becoming a wildlife ecologist and strive to work within urban-rural gradient environments at both the state and federal level. 

I’m super excited to be part of the 2022 Mosaics in science cohort, and look forward to getting the opportunity of being involved in several wildlife initiatives this summer.  In my free time, I love to spend time outdoors by going on hikes, watching wildlife, camping, running, doing poi, and generally exploring new areas. 

My First Week

My first week working in GGNRA was off to an amazing start. On my first day, I attended the Spring 2022 San Francisco Peninsula Herp Summit where nearby land managing agency gathered to discuss and share best management practices relating to the conservation of the regionally important (and federally protected) herp species, the California red-legged frog (Rana draytonii) and the San Francisco garter snake (Thamnophis sirtalis tetrataenia) (SFGS)! Afterwards, I joined park staff in a field monitoring survey looking for the SFGS. Although we didn’t find any, I loved being out in the field.

(One of the snake field sites)
(Looking for SFGS with National Park staff)

Later that week I also joined a monitoring field project looking at young Coho salmon that were making their way back to the ocean. 

(This is a fish trap on a river)
(Netting is place up stream to funnel fish)
(Fish swim through tube into box)

(They are then measured. Coho salmon)

Fish are held in buckts with aerators)

(Then they are released back into river!)

Currently I’m working on doing monitoring surveys for the western pond turtle (Actinemys marmorata) using radio telemetry to better understand their habitat use and general distribution within recently reintroduced areas in GGNRA. I’ve also been doing daily evening turtle nest monitoring surveys in Point Reyes, CA with the goal of securing several nests that can be used as a starting founding population for a future reintroduction initiative that will take place later in the summer. Check out my next post to see what I discover! Thanks for reading!!!!

This Aneides shows an aberrant (abnormal) coloration!


Here are some extra photos of a super cute arboreal salamander (Aneides lugubris) I found on the way home one night after work. 

It's sooooo cute though!! <3
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