Ellen Murphy

ellen holding a toadEllen Murphy is a Soundscape Technician for the National Park Service. Her work goes towards recording the sounds of the Grand Canyon National Park in order to engage the public and spread awareness. She defines a naturalist as someone who notices their natural environment and critically thinks about how and why an organism functions in the larger scheme of an environment. To her, patience and use of senses is key to elevating your naturalist skills. She is a strong advocate for an increase in financial support and diversification within the Natural History and Outdoor Education fields. She believes that one way to improve the Naturalist Community and the field of natural history as a whole is by getting involved with nature from a young age. However, she encourages people of all ages to join the community. You can jump it at any point!

ellen drawing in the grassEllen is a recent UCSC graduate with an Environmental Studies and Biology degree with focus in Geographic Information Science and Cartography. She strengthened her naturalist and field journaling skills while participating in the Natural History Field Quarter course at UCSC. Her gardening maintenance and education skills developed throughout her Curatorial Assistant job at the Santa Cruz Arboretum. There, she engaged with the flora and fauna of New Zealand. She also participated in a Wildland Studies Field Course through Western Washington University where she applied her naturalist skills abroad in New Zealand. Ellen wishes all of her college courses could be field courses, and firmly believes in the benefits of active engagement with the environment.

Ellen is highly interested in Herpetology and Conservation. She wrote a senior thesis on territorial traits of Western Fence Lizards. She conducted research at the Arboretum and gained experience in field data collection, data analysis, species accounts, natural history, and environmental education. A notable memory of hers was witnessing a group of Western Fence Lizards feeding on termite colonies. After gaining inspiration from two of her mentors, Chris Lay and Alex Krohn, she one day hopes to become a field quarter professor so that she can be outside and learn alongside the students she is teaching.