Francis Quitazol

The Nature Conservancy
Natural Resource Manager
High School Attended
St. Anthony's; Wailuku, HI
College Attended
UH Hilo: B.S. - Agriculture

Francis smiling

Job Description:

Implement large scale threat abatement projects which focus on controlling invasive plants and animals within the East Maui watershed.

Such projects include; large fence projects, ungulate control, and alien plant control.

Interest in Field:

I have always been interested in the outdoors having lived in Hawaii my whole life, but it wasn’t until I did my internship with UHHIP that I realized that this was what I was meant to do. How did you get there?

The biggest step that really opened doors for me and allowed me to make the right connections in this field was the Hawaiian Internship Program UHHIP.

Necessary Qualifications:

I feel that a key qualification for this job is the ability to take on multiple tasks and sorting them out in a way to efficiently meet a goal or result. In other words good coordination and time management are essential for this job. As for how I achieved these skills? The Assistant Natural Resource Manager program through TNC was really an intensive two year program which provided me with a solid foundation for this position.

Rewards of Work:

One of the most rewarding things is knowing that I am doing my part to preserve a truly unique ecosystem for future generations. Also the everyday things like watching an Akohekohe while I eat my lunch in the forest. These are the things that keep me going.

Relevant Work Experience:

  • UH HIP
  • USDA bio control
  • US Forest Service Boise National Forest, Silviculture
  • US Forest Service Eldorado National Forest, Wild land Fire Fighter “Hotshot Crew”
  • HAVO Hawaii Volcanoes National Park Fence Crew
  • Exotic Plant Management Team - Haleakala National Park
  • Feral Animal Management - Haleakala National Park
  • Assistant Natural Resource Manager program - The Nature Conservancy
  • Natural Resource Manager - The Nature Conservancy

Typical Day:

A typical field day would be to start at 5:30 am to drive to a helicopter Landing Zone (LZ) for a 6:30 am flight. I will go over the plan with my crew and make sure all of our radios and GPS units are functioning.

We will fly in to more that one location to spread out the crew through the preserve. The plan may be anything from a fence inspection to transect monitoring which involves extensive data collection and a long hike. Usually by late afternoon it’s a good hike to another remote LZ for a pull out from the field.

When we get back to our base yard we are all muddy a smelly but usually we are all smiling as this is what we like to do.

Words of Wisdom :

You wish you knew...:

Right now the hot thing is GPS and GIS skills if you have a solid background in both you greatly increase your chances of finding a job. GIS is always changing and improving and I’ve notice a definite demand for this skill.

You wish you were told...:

Not so much advice but more availability of training and or courses in GIS or data management.

Final Comments / Advice:

It is important to build your experience with internships at home and away and to always seek out learning new learning opportunities. These experiences will help you grow as a person and as a leader in this field.