My name is Dale Dualan. I grew up in Modesto, California, a Central Valley town. We had a simple life. My parents came from the rural Philippines. They taught me to appreciate what we have, the things we take for granted: clean air, clean water, good food. When I went to college, I realized that those values were the fundamental roots of sustainability.
I majored in conservation and resource studies at the University of California, Berkeley. Looking at internship opportunities through the Student Conservation Association, I found one at Point Reyes National Seashore, helping develop the sustainability program here.
Six years later, my official title is engineering technician, but unofficially I’m the sustainability coordinator. In the 400-plus units in the national park system, there aren’t that many positions like mine.
It’s hard to say that I have a “typical day.” I’m in the office more than I’d like. It’s always nice to be outside working in a national park, like when we installed five new rooftop solar arrays. That brought us up to 23; we now expect to produce 50 percent of our energy from solar. The rest we purchase through Marin Clean Energy, so our energy is 100 percent clean.
My favorite part of the job—aside from seeing a red-tailed hawk outside my window—is just knowing that there’s a lot more to accomplish when it comes to sustainability. Addressing climate change [is] a huge priority for the national parks. Going forward, I’m hoping that the 2.5 million visitors who come to the park each year can take home some of these messages and practices.