Caroline Martorano

Caroline Martorano

Fire Ecology Graduate Assistant, Humboldt State University

Caroline studied plant biology during her time as an IB major – she was involved with the Pollen Lab and worked with Grand Prairie Friends managing invasive species and collecting native seeds as an intern. As an IB major, was able to find her passion in plant biology, ecology and conservation by experiencing a breadth of fields and research methods. She had several internships after graduation that allowed her to gain valuable conservation and plant biology experiences, and travel across the States.

She is currently conducting two research projects, one for her master's thesis and one as a side project. Her master's thesis is on the long term vegetation response to prescribed fire, mechanical fuel reduction methods, and combinations of the two in chaparral. Her side project is looking at the impact of conifer encroachment on surface fuel heterogeneity in oak woodlands.

During her time as a Botanist for the Quinault Indian Nation, Caroline managed restoration projects on the 200,000+ acre Quinault Indian Reservation involving invasive species control, native planting, and prairie burns. The most exciting part of her job was being the project manager for the first prairie burn the tribe has had in 150 years, since the use of fire was suppressed by settlers.

She is a great person to talk to if you are interested in conservation, restoration ecology, plant biology, or land management. She would also be an excellent resource for questions or concerns about internships, and what kinds of skills you can develop from these experiences.