Para Agradecer la Naturaleza!

Para Agradecer la Naturaleza!

Song of the Day: “Rocky Mountain High” by John Denver and “Visions” by Loving

Hello everyone! My name is Keily Pineda and I will be the 2022 Natural Resources Assistant Intern at Rocky Mountain National Park. Welcome to my blog! I’m really excited to have the opportunity to work at such a cool park and to get to learn more about the ecosystem functions that make this park so unique. I am from Houston, Texas, so I am in a completely different environment being out here in the mountains! I grew up with a deep respect and appreciation for the natural environment thanks to my parents who helped cultivate this relationship for me and my sisters from a young age. I believe that this appreciation for the environment at such a young age helped me go down my career path. Hopefully, I can give back to nature and help be a part of the next generation of stewards who preserve this environment for future generations to appreciate and love it, just like I did as a little kid! It is very important for me as a representative of my community to be able to educate and spread awareness about the importance of preservation of unique ecosystems and the benefits nature can have. Being able to work at the park that ignited my passion for the outdoors is a huge accomplishment for me.

This summer I will be working in the Continental Divide Research Learning Center for Rocky Mountain National Park. My project will focus on identifying and quantifying visitor impacts on natural resources in the Alpine Tundra. I will be researching the impacts social trails and congregation areas have on the natural ecosystem of the tundra. I will also have the opportunity to lead a group of community scientists who will help me in tracking the severity and length of these informal social trails. I’m really excited for my project this summer and can’t wait to get started!

Growing up, my dad made it a huge point to always go to the beach at the beginning of the summer, so much to my surprise, during my first week in Estes Park, it started to snow! It’s really weird for me to be wearing my thickest winter jackets in the beginning of June! I grew up right next to the Gulf of Mexico, which is hot and humid practically year-round, so being out here and experiencing 30-40 degree dry weather is a complete 180! I think it’ll take me some time to adapt to this new climate with the different altitude and the very cold weather, but I am still really happy to be out here. My family came up to Colorado with me to help me move in so it was a must to go visit the park! We were able to see various wildlife such as moose, coyote, prairie dogs, bighorn sheep, and elk by Sheep’s Lake. We got to explore the great outdoors and were able to do some hikes by Lily Lake. It was a really great experience to be in the park with my family and get to explore a terrain we are unfamiliar with! Overall, this was a great trip for me and my family to get to experience the Rockies before they would have to head back home to Texas. Though I will miss my family, I am really excited for the opportunities to grow as an ecosystem manager and as an individual out here in the Rockies.

Hopefully you guys will follow me on my journey and be able to explore the tundra alongside with me. Thank you for reading my blog! See ya later!

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