Rainforest Trust Africa Conservation Officer, Katie Pugh has found inspiration in the natural world for most of her life, but she realized she wanted to be a conservationist while she was earning her Bachelor’s in Biology at Christopher Newport University in Newport News, Virginia.
On a study abroad program in Belize focused in rainforest, mangrove and marine ecology, she was conducting research on the beaches. “It was beautiful, but I remember looking down the beach and seeing that garbage had washed up everywhere,” said Katie. “I wanted to contribute to the protection of the incredible places I visited while studying abroad, and the experience ultimately peaked my interest in international conservation.” She went on to earn her Masters in Biology through Miami University’s Global Field Program.
Katie’s passion for animals and the environment has driven her career choices. She worked at a veterinary clinic, and then a large government contractor doing biology field work. But her increasing concern for the environment led her to seek work with a conservation organization.
Nearly 5 years ago, Katie began working for Rainforest Trust. Her very first project was a perfect intertwining of her passion for marine habitat and species– helping establish the first shark sanctuary in Costa Rica. The first project she was involved with at Rainforest Trust was our partnership with Costa Rican NGO Mision Tiburon to establish a Marine Protected Area in Golfo Dulce, which is a nursery for Endangered Scalloped Hammerhead. “Since I was involved at a very early stage in the development of the project, it will always be among the most meaningful,” said Katie.
Throughout her time with Rainforest Trust, Katie has been able to work in several different capacities in the Warrenton office, and has travelled all over the world to work directly with our partners to help manage and oversee the sites for her projects. “As I have worked with the Rainforest Trust team and met members of our partner organizations over the years, I have
developed a strong appreciation for their expertise, dedication, and perseverance,” said Katie.
Katie’s passion and commitment to creating a better, more sustainable future is a value she shares with each of her colleagues at Rainforest Trust. No matter the job– conservation officer,
database administrator, finance assistant or office manager– the end goal is the same, to keep Rainforest Trust focused on our impact and mission. In order for our dedicated team to continue making global impact, we need support for our home office. Help support Katie and the rest of the home office team implement our mission of protecting communities, species and the planet.