Two people stand on a grassy hillside in the King Range Wilderness, overlooking the Pacific Ocean.
Mtn. Bike Rider on the Bizz Johnson Trail King Range National Conservation Area Poppy Three Pump Jacks, Midway-Sunset Oilfield
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Employee Profile

Ashley Conrad-Saydah

Renewable Energy Project Manager
Renewable Energy Coordination Office

"ThesevenyearsawayfromNewYorkhasnotslowedmyspeechmuch," she says without a pause for breath.  Ashley hails from quaint Rockland County in the Hudson River Valley, where the Hudson River Quadricentennial (that's 400 years, folks!) was officially launched by the Knickerbocker Ice Festival at Rockland Lake State Park in January 2009.

Ashley earned her bachelor's degree in ecology and evolutionary biology from Princeton University in 1999. She left her native New York for San Francisco on 9/12/01 (her original plan was to leave on 9/11/01, but was understandably thwarted), where she managed Careers in Science, a work-based youth development program at the California Academy of Sciences for five years.

Ashley began working at a young age, which included jobs from being a lifeguard, to caring for sick seals and seal lions, to selling wildlife art and safari packages, to performing environmental research, to environmental course coordinator, to coordinating an ecosystem services research program.  For a woman who is very accomplished, she says her most significant accomplishment was seeing the students who started with her in the Careers in Science program graduate from college and start on their own career path.

In 2006, Ashley moved to Santa Barbara where she earned a master's degree in environmental science and management from the Donald Bren School of Environmental Science and Management at UC Santa Barbara.  While pursuing her degree, Ashley became one of the first at both the Bren School and UC Santa Barbara to be awarded the prestigious Doris Duke Conservation Fellowship for promise as a leader in the world of conservation.

After earning her theoretical undergraduate degree, working for many years for non-profit organizations and attending an interdisciplinary graduate program, Ashley craved an opportunity to learn how government functioned and to work on climate change and long-term sustainability issues from the inside.  She was awarded a Presidential Management Fellowship just before finishing her graduate school and decided it afforded her an opportunity to work in an area she is passionate about and to get to know BLM.  She will have additional opportunities for developmental rotations and training in other departments and agencies within the government as part of the Fellowship. 

Ashley Conrad-Saydah in the Desolation Wilderness
Ashley Conrad-Saydah in the Desolation Wilderness

"Most government acronyms are still foreign to me.  When you meet me, teach me one so I can become a SAU (savvy acronym user)."

Not that it is any surprise, but outside the workplace, Ashley enjoys a multitude of activities--  rockclimbing, hiking, backpacking, swimming, cooking, going to farmer's markets, continuing education, working with kids and traveling.