REBECCA S. WANG, M.S.
Introducing Our In-House Field Scientist and Conservationist
REBECCA S. WANG, M.S.
A New Orleans native, born and raised, Rebecca has always loved and cared deeply for Louisiana’s coastal wetlands, riparian habitats, marshes, and bottomland hardwood forests. She decided at an early age to dedicate her career to conservation, having been deeply impacted by witnessing the erosion threatening Louisiana’s vanishing coastlines and living through the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Rebecca is passionate about addressing conservation challenges by employing science-based solutions and using a multifaceted, holistic, and interdisciplinary approach that couples conservation of biodiversity with human dimensions, such as socioeconomic factors and eco‑services.
While earning her bachelor’s degree in Environmental Biology at Tulane University,
Rebecca worked in a community ecology lab that studied the bacterial and fungal endophytes of a foundational salt marsh grass, Spartina alterniflora. In addition, she assisted with numerous urban ecology projects, ranging from the prevalence of rodent-borne pathogens and altered vegetation communities in post-Katrina landscapes to heightened aggression in northern mockingbirds exposed to high soil lead concentrations. She gained experience conducting transect surveys, vegetation surveys, nest surveys, bird banding, song-playback experiments, and small-mammal trapping.
Rebecca also earned a GIS Certification while at Tulane and employed her skills to complete independent research projects analyzing burn severity and post-fire vegetation regrowth following a California wildfire as well as subsidence and land loss in southeast Louisiana.
Rebecca studied abroad in Ecuador at Universidad San Francisco de Quito for 6 months, where she travelled, honed her Spanish language skills to achieve fluency, and used ArcGIS to complete a research project based in the Galapagos Islands. Since her semester abroad, Rebecca has returned to Ecuador twice, using self-secured grant money to volunteer at a community-based ecolodge in Esmeraldas province. Her blogs about her experiences can be found here and here.
After earning her B.S. degree, Rebecca completed a master’s program in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at Tulane.
For her Master’s project, Rebecca led a campus-wide pilot study assessing the risk of bird strikes on Tulane’s campus. Following the completion of her master’s degree, Rebecca interned at the Southeast Louisiana National Wildlife Refuge Complex in Lacombe, Louisiana from October 2019 to the end of March 2020. Highlights during this experience include helping with red-cockaded woodpecker translocations and conducting shorebird surveys.
Since moving to California, Rebecca has worked as a seasonal biological technician conducting biological surveys to determine the presence or absence of the endangered blunt-nosed leopard lizard, as well as other special-status, sensitive, and non-listed species. Working in the foothills and oilfields in and around the San Joaquin Valley, Rebecca gained relevant experience working with many species, including San Joaquin antelope squirrel and San Joaquin kit fox. She is eager to continue learning more about the flora and fauna of California while contributing to Colibri’s work.
In Rebecca’s spare time, she enjoys hiking, camping, exercising, photographing flora and fauna, cooking and learning new recipes, baking sweets, practicing classical piano, and playing board games with friends.