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Employee Spotlight: Rachel Noriega

Author: Emily Searles

Rachel Noriega (she/her) is a wildlife field biologist with over four years of professional experience across the United States. She joined Great Ecology in March 2023, and has been an instrumental part of our team since. While she sometimes pops into the San Diego office, Rachel is based in her home area of the Imperial Valley, CA and received a Bachelors in Wildlife Biology and Conservation from the University of Alaska, Fairbanks. While Alaska may seem like a huge change to some of us in California, Rachel says “I really didn’t think much about it at the time. I have an aunt who lives up there and the other colleges I got into were cities, which I do not like city life.” When asked what her favorite parts of the Imperial Valley are, Rachel said “the colorful sunrises and dark star-filled skies. Plus, excellent winter birding!”

An avid birder, Rachel’s experience includes habitat management for migratory birds and waterfowl hunting, as well as pre/post-construction monitoring habitat assessment and surveys for listed/unlisted species. She has extensive knowledge of biological monitoring techniques and practical application for wildlife conservation, too. Recently, Rachel has worked with some of our other team members on Pupfish surveys and compliance monitoring in the Salton Sea. Rachel explained that at Great Ecology, “Work is a beehive, where there is always something buzzing, and only with teamwork do we succeed.” She has also worked alongside our landscape architects and designers in her work, which she especially enjoys as she gets to catch a glimpse into their world.

In case you weren’t convinced how cool Rachel is already, she is also trained in heavy equipment for agricultural tractors and venomous snake safety. She is also the Imperial County representative for the Southern California Chapter of the Wildlife Society, whose mission is “to inspire, empower and enable wildlife professionals.” Rachel takes this mission to heart and has participated in various outreach opportunities promoting wildlife conservation and employment opportunities to widen the field of Ecology.

We’re exceptionally grateful to work alongside Rachel, and know she is instrumental in our work both in the Imperial Valley and across the globe. Interested in learning more about Great Ecology as a whole? Read more on our About page.