Elsie Carillo

elsie holding a snakeElsie is currently a PhD student in the Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Department at UC Santa Cruz. She defines a naturalist is someone who is connected to their environment, familiar with the life that inhabits it and identifying or knowing its natural history. Elsie first got into the natural world during trips to visit her family in Jalisco, México. There, the mascot in her family’s town (Teocaltiche) was a grasshopper, which piqued her interest and got her interested in exploring the natural history of grasshoppers at a young age. Elsie believes we can involve new people as naturalists by going outside together with new naturalists. Elise thinks taking your friends or family out with a field guide or binoculars, sketch book, even if you don’t know everything, can show your enthusiasm for natural history and get others interested. In Santa Cruz, Elsie has a special connection with Wilder Ranch, where she visited many times growing up with her family. One of Elsie’s most memorable field experience happened when she was taking a natural history course and her class was outside exploring was when she lifted up a rock and found a ring-necked snake. Ever since then she has been enthralled. Elsie believes its important to make the natural history museum more inclusive and a place where someone is not questioned whether they should be working within the museum. She think its especially important to make everyone more accessible and to increase representation of those in higher career positions to show younger folks that it could be them too.marine-iguana-drawing.png

drawing by elsie