Meet Our 2024 Interns!

Gloria on the left, Merek on the right

We are excited to welcome our 2024 interns, who join us for a term from April through early October. They work on a variety of projects, from conservation plans and technical work in the office to site visits and invasives removal in our district. Welcome to the team, Gladys and Merek!

Gladys Nava-Jacobo (above left) joins us as our GIS intern. Gladys was born in Jalisco, Mexico and raised in Boyle Heights, Los Angeles, California. She spent her childhood at her neighborhood parks with her family. She studied Geography and Environmental Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), where she gained a new perspective as she learned about environmental injustices in her hometown and other neighborhoods with similar demographics. Wanting to learn more about these injustices and how to combat them, Gladys joined the 2022 Sustainability Action Research (SAR) Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion in Sustainability team and was a student researcher for a UCLA Heat Study Project. Gladys is excited to be in Portland working with West Multnomah SWCD and looks forward to strengthening her Geographic Information System (GIS) and plant identification skills.

Merek Strand (above right) joins us as our field conservation intern. Merek grew up in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains where he developed a deep reverence for nature, thanks to an amazing mom who took him on countless outdoor adventures. He graduated from the University of Colorado with a degree in Environmental Studies and recently completed the River Restoration Certificate from Portland State University. He brings experience in stormwater management, GIS, and small-scale vegetable farming to West Multnomah SWCD. Merek is interested in all things botanical and hopes to improve his knowledge of native and invasive plants, including their ethnobotanical properties. He is looking forward to developing conservation plans for rural and urban property owners and exploring the intersection of habitat restoration work with Indigenous Traditional Ecological Knowledge during his internship.