GEM Environmental is proud to welcome our newest team member Samantha Salazar! Samantha is our new GEM Corps AML Geographer's Assistant! Welcome to the team Samantha!
Samantha Salazar is originally from Arizona but now resides in Albuquerque, NM. Her interests include ecology, GIS, and conservation work. She values STEM education because it opens a world of wonder and imagination of our physical world.
Please provide a brief description highlighting your work/area of focus.
My area of focus is geography and GIS. My BS is in Geography/Environmental Studies and Evolutionary Anthropology. Which has shaped my focus on my area of work.
What do you plan to accomplish during your service term with GEM?
Samantha plans to accomplish learning about geography/geology fieldwork and the natural environment and applying her technical knowledge to better understand the natural world.
What are your career goals?
My career goals are to make an awareness of environmental security by becoming a NEPA Planner or a GIS specialist.
Do you plan to continue your education? If so, what programs or school are you looking into and what is the highest degree you plan to earn?
I am always looking for ways to further my knowledge in all things relating to environmental studies. If possible I would love to get a Ph.D. in environmental security or environmental policy.
Have you had any other internship or service opportunities before this? If so, how do you believe internships have benefited you so far?
I personally have never heard of an internship opportunity where I go out into the field and apply it to systems. I think this is a really great opportunity for Geography/Environmental studies students to get hands-on experience to understand physical data translation to geographic systems.
Anything else you'd like to share about your work, yourself, or the STEM fields?
One-touch of nature makes the whole world kin.
—William Shakespeare (1564-1616)
TO LEARN MORE ABOUT SAMANTHA CLICK HERE.
Did you know that around 300 million years ago, Payson was part of the ocean!?! Geologists have learned this from the multiple limestone deposits that are still there. Fossils like corals, seashells and other remnants of sea creatures can still be found. There is a little area 13 miles east of Payson, near Kohl’s Ranch, called the Indian Gardens Paleo Site that is open to the public and free of charge! Check out our extended GEM family members Billy and Larissa Hinshaw as they take their mini-paleontologists Maelani and Kailee on a fun-filled adventure!
Here are a few tips and tricks to help your adventure run smoothly:
Bring water and food since there are no restaurants or food marts around.
Wear protective gear and clothes such as goggles, glasses, gloves, and knee pads, hats, closed shoes since it’s dangerous to dig and find fossils without them.
Help save the environment by not leaving your garbage.
Be there early since the parking may fill up quickly.
Bring some tools like brush, rock hammer, chisel, and screwdriver for a better digging experience!
Put on sunblock because you’ll be out there when the sun is high and you don’t want to get burnt.
Always be careful while walking or digging because some rocks may be sharp.
Brush off the dirt to clean the fossils you have collected. As much as possible, do not use water, because they could get mushy and crack in the future if you do so.
We hope you enjoyed sharing this experience and that it may encourage you to go explore our amazing state! Thank you to the Hinshaw Family for sharing this wonderful adventure!