Celida was born and raised in San Francisco, CA, the ancestral homeland of the Ramaytush Ohlone people. Her passion for environmental science began as she grew up in the urban open spaces like Golden Gate Park and Fort Funston State Park. Seeing the variety of ways that people of different religions, ethnicities, and cultures drew joy from the natural world around them prompted her to graduate from Western Washington University with a B.S. in Environmental Science and Geographic Information Science to understand the science behind protecting natural spaces for the communities she was a part of back home. GIS is an incredibly powerful tool that she is always looking to implement in projects she engages in.
During her higher education she had the privilege of working with Dr. Marco Hatch and his Coastal Communities and Ecology Lab where she first began to learn about Indigenous ways of knowing, Traditional Ecological Knowledge, and the importance of land-based, community-centered environmental research. Her time with the Doris Duke Conservation Scholars Program at the University of Washington introduced her to some of her most amazing friends and mentors that really expanded her thinking around environmental justice and the connection between identity and access to recreation and resources. Celida aims to use her experiences and teachings from her other mentors, Dr. Anna Lees, Dr. Dolores Calderon, and Dr. Verónica Véléz, to support community-led projects back home in the Bay Area through the lenses of critical race theory and land education.
She is excited to learn from and collaborate with Alba and the Students and Teachers Restoring A Watershed (STRAW) team at Point Blue to begin this journey! Celida honors her ancestors, parents, tías, mentors and friends that have helped her get to where she is today.
When not working, Celida can be found spending one on one time with friends, reading, hiking, eating, experimentally cooking, and exploring new places.