Erin Paulson


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“Wilderness is not a luxury but a necessity of the human spirit”

– Ed Abbey

I’m a motivated graduate of Southern Oregon University, with a B.S. in Environmental Science and Policy, a Biology minor, and a Sustainability Leadership Certificate. Through my education, extensive field experience, and project leadership roles, I have instilled a strong work ethic and effective communication skills, further guiding my interest in sustainability and conservation management. 

From researching the post-fire impact on water quality, soil erosion, and vegetation regeneration of the Almeda Fire in Southern Oregon; high-altitude climate change-induced impacts to Colorado wildflowers; and reintroduction of the endangered Great Green Macaw in Costa Rica, my outdoor experience has shaped my interest in seeking a career in conservation, habitat restoration, and the overarching impacts of climate change. 


Almeda Fire Research

My senior capstone conducted a comprehensive study on the Almeda fire –  which devastated Southern Oregon. The three focal variables for the riparian study were: water quality, soil erosion, and vegetation regeneration – as to compile a comprehensive understanding to the baseline impact on the riparian zone as well as to capture in-time recovery initiatives.

Linked here is the background history of the Almeda Fire – the research project conceptualization and design.

Linked here is  the full report, outlining studies methodology, results, and final discussion including suggested future riparian restoration.


Great Green Macaw Research

Ara Manzanillo is a Costa Rican Non-Profit striving to reintroduce the endangered Great Green Macaw to it’s native habitat along the Caribbean Coast.

My internship included leading daily tours to international groups as to increase project and species awareness;  tend to the birds through daily supplemental feedings; conduct nest box checks for mating activity; forage natural food; provide bird health checks; construct artificial nest boxes; and update Ara social media platforms.

The experience at Ara taught me tons about  the art of reintroducing endangered species, living remotely in the jungle, and dedicating yourself to a cause much larger than yourself.

More about the Great Green Macaws here.   

Colorado Wildflowers Research

The Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory in Colorado is home to one of the most renowned and remote research stations, at 9,000 feet elevation, surrounded by wildflowers and mountains. RMBL annually hosts hundreds of researchers, studying long-term effects of climate change on wildlife, wildflowers, soil, snowmelt, drought, and more.

My research at RMBL studied the impact of climate change induced early snowmelt on legumes mutualistic interactions with rhizobia (nitrogen fixing) in exchange for mycorrhizae (water absorbing).  More on my research here

 This initial research opportunity opened my eyes for my love of field work and interest to continuing my education into academic research.  





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