What do you love most about living here?

Other than the magnificent beauty, I really enjoy having endless options of places to explore. In the three weeks that I have lived here, not one day has been the same. It makes me value free time and enjoy every minute of life. I love seeing cows and horses on my way to work, and I love walking around during sunset – when the streets are almost completely empty and I hear children playing and dogs parking!

Do you have a favorite spot on the Eastside?

Not yet, and I welcome recommendations!

Where does your interest in conservation stem from?

I had the opportunity to work for the USVI’s Environmental Resource Station on St. John Island in the Caribbean after graduating from college. There, I was exposed to a much simpler way of navigating life. Living in a tent for a year with only the basic necessities made me appreciate what I have. On a personal level, it gave me a sympathetic understanding of what we take for granted every day. Sometimes boats were delayed on their delivery routes from the mainland or Puerto Rico, and the Island would be without fuel for weeks. Sometimes it did not rain, and the cisterns would run dry so that we could not take showers. The locals all understood these facts of life. St. John was where I learned what conservation really meant, and I still think about it daily.

Carissa lived on St. John’s Island in the Caribbean for a year.


Carissa with her pup Sampson!

What do you look forward to most in your work with ESLT?

Working with my good friend Kay! And of course, working with the entire ESLT team. I am excited to learn about all of ESLT’s accomplishments and all of the hard work that goes on behind the scenes, as this organization cares for this region. And I’m looking forward to gaining more knowledge of the wonderful Eastern Sierra.

What do you enjoy doing outside of work?

Exploring, swimming, hiking, and wading in any body of water with my pup Samson. He is the only dog I know that can swim underwater, and it is a hilarious sight to see!



We also say goodbye to Jane Gabriel, who recently left her post as our Operations Director. Thank you Jane for all you have done for us, and we look forward to keeping in touch and seeing you at ESLT events!