Since 2007 the Alliance has placed 28 SNAP Members at environmental non-profits and agencies in the Sierra for 11 months of service focused on watershed restoration, monitoring, volunteer recruitment and support, and education. Members increase the capacity of their organizations while gaining valuable skills. Many go on to have fruitful environmental careers in the Sierra. The SNAP spotlight is an opportunity for you to learn about some of our Alumni and see what they are doing now!
Sarah Angulo served with Sierra Streams Institute 15-16 and is now a Community Education Specialist for the UC California Naturalist certification program.
A story about your most memorable day, favorite project or person during your SNAP service.
“As the AmeriCorps serving as Education Coordinator, I was able to work on a huge variety of projects in the short time in my position. My favorite was completing a grant with the American Society of Plant Biologists that involved collecting plant phenology data for The National Phenology Network as a lens for studying the effects of climate change. There are so many reasons I found this project the most fulfilling of the ones I participated in! I was able to work as equals with the education department’s co-director and former SNAP member, Kelly Santos, who is an absolute gem of a human. She recognized my strengths and interest in this subject area, and allowed me to take a lot of the responsibility, creative freedom, and leadership on developing the curriculum for this project. We worked with just shy of 100 total high school students from Forest Charter School and Sierra Academy of Expeditionary Learning over the spring of 2016. It was able to combine so many things I value as an environmental educator – citizen science, place-based learning, writing, technology, and student interest-driven learning – that I look back on it with a lot of pride. And it’s still relevant to some of the work I do today!”
Any skills or life-hacks you took away from SNAP that you still use today?
“Looking for opportunities to have fun outside of work for cheap!”
How has serving with SNAP shaped your volunteer efforts today? What are you up to now?
“I have worked at my current position as a Community Education Specialist for the UC California Naturalist certification program since 2018. I continued to remain in the field of environmental education and use my skills of organization and coordination to administer our certification courses in the Central/Sierra region. These include some long-time SNAP sites! Having completed my own California Naturalist certification at Sierra Streams Institute, I am still amazed at how this opportunity I took advantage of during my time with SNAP ended up directly contributing to where I am today.”
Are you a SNAP alum? Tell us what’s SNAPpening!