My name is Natalia and I am from Santa Barbara, CA. I am a third year transfer student majoring in Ecology and Evolution. I am very excited to be working with CAMINO on the reptile and amphibian surveys in the Santa Cruz mountains! A fun fact about myself is that I am scuba certified and am planning to get my scientific diving certification in the Fall at UCSC.

See the abstract to my talk for the 2022 EEB Undergraduate Research Symposium

Herpetofauna play an important role in Northwestern forests, often being the most abundant vertebrates in an ecosystem. My objective was to analyze the impacts of forest thinning on amphibians. I did this by setting up and comparing thinned and un-thinned plots in the Santa Cruz Mountains looking at factors such as canopy cover, vegetation growth, and soil moisture. On average, we found a significant difference in tree size and number of trees, but little to no difference in the other factors. In order to make an accurate assessment on the impact level of thinning on these animals, we need to survey these areas for amphibian presence in the winter when they are more active. By understanding the impact, if any, on these animals, we can better protect forest ecosystems and their residents.