Threatened & Endangered Program Specialist
California State Office
Amy Fesnock tells the story of how she became interested in ecology and wildlife as a Girl Scout. She came home from Scout camp really disappointed that the lake at the camp, where she had swum in and learned to canoe in the previous year, was dry that summer. She announced to her mother, "Someone needs to figure out how to save lakes." Thus she embarked on her path to studying how to minimize impacts to species and their habitat.
There were a few detours, however. When she started college, she thought she was going to be a math and biology high school teacher. She took a wildlife ecology class as required for her major. After that class she said to herself "THIS is what I really want to do!" She changed her major to wildlife and fisheries biology and management, obtaining her bachelor’s degree from University of California-Davis in 1992.
Armed with her new degree, she got a seasonal job with the National Park Service. She did that for four years until she returned to school to get her master's degree. While in school, she stayed on with the NPS as a SCEP (student career experience program). She received her master’s degree in natural resources with an emphasis in wildlife from Humboldt State University in 1999.
While with the NPS, she worked at Pinnacles National Monument, Point Reyes National Seashore, Golden Gate National Recreation Area and Joshua Tree National Park. At Pinnacles NM, she had two major projects that were her "crazy" idea that she was able to get funded and implement -- reintroducing California condors and red-legged frogs in the monument.
She worked for the NPS until 2005, when she moved to Sacramento to be closer to family and started working for the Fish and Wildlife Service in the endangered species program. She transferred to BLM in September 2008. For the last four years, in addition to working full-time for the government, Amy has been sharing her passion and excitement for ecology as a part-time faculty member as Sacramento State University.
Amy is a native Californian, growing up in Chula Vista. In her non-work life, Amy enjoys playing with her two children and the family pets (1 dog, 4 cats and a horse). She volunteers for the Girls Scouts with her daughter's troop and with the Girl Scout Council helping train other volunteers in outdoor skills. She loves to read, sew, play games and cook, especially for family and friends. On sunny weekends, she, husband Russ, daughter Savanna and son Alton enjoy hikes along the American River.