Ay te Voy: Navigating a career in conservation

Corina Godoy felt she had a calling to work in conservation. Along the way, she didn’t see many people who looked like her. Undeterred and embracing her passion, she forged ahead, knowing that she would have to clear her own path.

Corvallis, OR (2018): My third internship but the first time I worked independently. It was the first time I cried because of a steep learning curve, and the first time I heard a compliment behind my back. I learned in the end, kept the compliment, and made new friends.
California City, CA (2020): I started work as a naturalist at the beginning of the pandemic. Lockdowns began as I was in the middle of the desert with no sign of human life for miles. It was both eerie and comforting. Unfortunately, desert creatures don’t understand the concept of social distancing.
East Bethel, MN (2019): After I graduated college, I went to the Midwest for seasonal work. There was beauty and pain like I had never experienced. This is an eight-spotted forester moth (Alypia octomaculata). I found this gorgeous specimen while I was experiencing being eaten alive by mosquitoes.
Joshua Tree, CA (2021): It seems to me that the most special connections are when you can communicate without the use of words. When a plant springs back to life after I cheer it on, it makes me feel like a plant whisperer. When wildlife gets close and intentionally seek me out, I feel like I am “the one”. The one of what, I do not know but I want to form a union with them to keep pests out of our nursery.

The Mojave Desert Land Trust is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization protecting lands with natural, scenic, and cultural value within the Mojave Desert.