AHC Alumna and Author to Speak at College Lunch 'n Learn Event

Sponsored by AHC Friends of the Library

Barbara MoritschMARCH 15, 2013 -- Barbara Moritsch had always been a fan of the outdoors, but it was as a student at Allan Hancock College that she decided to make a career out of protecting natural resources.

“The discussions in my classes about all the problems and issues the environment was facing really got to me,” Moritsch said.

On Wednesday, March 27, Moritsch will return to Hancock to speak at the Friends of the Library Lunch n’ Learn event from noon to 1:30 p.m. in the Santa Maria campus library.  She will sign copies of her book, The Soul of Yosemite: Finding, Defending and Saving the Valley’s Sacred Wild Nature starting at 1 p.m.  

“Not only do we depend on the earth and natural resources for everything we enjoy,” Moritsch said, “I want to tell students that I think there will be a tremendous number of jobs available in environmental conservation in the coming years.”

After graduating from Allan Hancock College in 1980, Moritsch went on to earn bachelor’s and master’s degrees in natural resource planning and environmental science and worked as an ecologist in five national parks throughout her career.

Moritsch emphasized that field training was the highlight of her time as a student at Hancock, specifically the class trip to the Mojave Desert.  Moritsch and her classmates spent a week in the desert, using it as an outdoor classroom.

“I could tell how wonderfully interested Barbara was in what we were doing in the field,” said Steve O’Neill, a life and physical sciences instructor at Hancock and one of the instructors on the Mojave trip.  

Science students at Hancock still take field trips into the eastern Sierra Nevada Mountains in the fall and Death Valley in the spring as part of advanced studies in physical and biological sciences.

“If students have any inclination at all toward natural resource conservation careers, I would recommend the field studies classes,” Moritsch said.

In addition to encouraging students to follow in her own path, Moritsch will speak to the audience about her vision for Yosemite National Park that balances the use of the park by the public with the protection of its many resources. 

Copies of Moritsch’s are available at the Allan Hancock College bookstore, with all proceeds from sales going to the Friends of the Library.  The Lunch n’ Learn event is free and open to the public. For more information call the Santa Maria campus library at 922-6966 ext. 3322.

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Last Modified Jan 17, 2014