New operations and outreach intern joins TWS

Valerie Ramirez is joining The Wildlife Society staff as its new operations and outreach intern.

Ramirez, who is from Chicago, graduated in 2020 from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with a bachelor’s degree in natural resources and environmental science and a concentration in fish and wildlife conservation.

Ramirez enjoys learning about all wildlife—from birds to herps—but her favorite taxa to study is mammals. She is especially interested in wildlife behavior and conservation. Ramirez enjoys conducting research and fieldwork, which led her to apply research to various fields studying from Asian carp to soil science.

Ramirez during a hiking trip in southern Illinois. Credit: Valerie Ramirez

While earning her bachelor’s, Ramirez worked at the university’s Institute of Sustainability, Energy, and Environment, promoting sustainability on campus, joining working groups, and hosting campus engagement events. After graduating, she worked with the nonprofit Student Conservation Association as a crew member in an All-Women’s Crew working on restoration of public parks. Ramirez became more passionate about diversity and inclusion in the field and nonprofit organizations. She also worked on restoration all over Chicago with the Chicago Park District.

Some of Ramirez’s hobbies include listening to podcasts, baking, reading and visiting museums in Chicago. She hopes to continue her education and pursue graduate school, where she plans to study wildlife conservation and advocate for diversity and inclusion. Valerie hopes to raise awareness of the environment by participating in educational outreach activities to increase inclusion and appreciation of nature.

Ramirez collects larval fish in the Illinois River for a summer internship project. Credit: Valerie Ramirez

Ramirez is excited to learn more about diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) initiatives and promote engagement within The Wildlife Society. She hopes to use this experience and apply what she learns as she continues in her career and advocate for underrepresented communities.

Operations and outreach interns assist in TWS organization unit services and professional development programs. Internships with The Wildlife Society provide opportunities to students and recent graduates to expand their network and gain professional experience. Learn more about TWS professional development opportunities and diversity, equity and inclusion resources.

Header Image: Ramirez worked in Ping Tom Park, pictured here with the Chicago skyline in the background, as part of her work with the Chicago Park District. Credit: Valerie Ramirez