18-year-old Jessica Hadley joins student conservation effort
At 18 years of age, Auburn resident Jessica Hadley is well-acquainted with the wild, wooly fauna of the American outback.
The daughter of lifelong environmentalists, she’s been stalking bears and watching wolves from a distance since childhood, but this summer she’s been enlisted by Yosemite National Park to work within arm’s reach of them.
Hadley has been chosen to be a “bear intern” at Yosemite for three months over the summer, from June 23 through September. She said the aim of the job is to reduce human-bear conflict by educating the public and assisting with “bear management,” which will involve tracking the animals with radio collars and personal observation, finding ways to discourage them from entering campsites and occasionally capturing them for removal.
Hadley is the daughter of park rangers who met and married at Yosemite and now work for the US Fish & Wildlife Service – Dad works on wildfires, Mom cleans up oil spills – and she took a cue from their passion at a young age. She remembers following bears and observing wolf packs on family vacations, and having graduated from Del Oro High School in 2013 and finished her first year at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, she thought a summer job with the Student Conservation Association was the next step.
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