Grace Mannell is a passionate and knowledgeable biologist who has graced Sequoia with her infectious positive attitude and impressive work ethic since 2017. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Management and Protection and a minor in Biology from California Polytechnic State University-San Luis Obispo. In addition, Grace attained a minor in Biology with concentration in Field and Wildlife Biology. An experienced and skilled biologist, Grace is currently working toward 10(a)1(a) permits for California tiger salamander, California red-legged frog, vernal pool brachiopods including vernal pool fairy shrimp, vernal pool tadpole shrimp, and alkali fairy shrimp. Grace has always been in love with the natural world and spent much of her childhood climbing trees and exploring the east bay hills while catching snakes, snails, and spiders.
Although Grace is passionate about many of the species we encounter here at Sequoia, her favorite would have to be the burrowing owl because they are sassy and tough while also being cute little fluffballs. When asked what her favorite part about working at Sequoia is, Grace replied: “I love the team support at Sequoia – it’s great to have a fun group of people who are great to work with but also are always ready to share dog pics, swap baking tips, and help each other with species identification for all the weird bones and mushrooms we find”. Although Grace is often busy coordinating large projects, she certainly still brings her expertise to the field on a regular basis. When out, she stays fueled up with her favorite field snacks: a classic peanut butter & jelly sandwich, trail mix with lots of M&M’s and no raisins, and cheese (any cheese). Speaking of fieldwork, when asked if she had a favorite field memory or story Grace described a memorable time when “I witnessed an epic 20-minute battle between a raven, a red-tailed hawk, and a golden eagle over a prey item the hawk had caught. As they were duking it out, a bald eagle swooped in out of nowhere and scared all the other impressive predators away.” Out of all the extraordinary animals with whom we share this planet, Grace feels she most identifies with the domesticated dog because all I really want to do is go on walks, watch woodland critters do their thing, and eat peanut butter.
When she is not hard at work for Sequoia, Grace enjoys many hobbies and pastimes such as hiking, gardening, playing guitar and ukulele, dancing, reading, taking my dog on adventures, and learning about science and history.
Grace’s favorite place in the world to enjoy nature is Hi Mountain Lookout Station in Los Padres National Forest because “I had my first job in wildlife there, and it’s stunningly beautiful. It’s at the highest point around and every morning in the summer the fog rolls in and covers the landscape so the lookout appears to be alone on a tiny island in the middle of an endless world of fog. And when the fog begins to drift downslope, it reveals a gorgeous landscape of steep chaparral-covered mountains full of awesome wildlife including bears, kangaroo rats, and horned lizards.” Her most memorable field observation was when she was fortunate enough to spot over a dozen Santa Cruz long-toed salamanders, several California tiger salamanders, arboreal salamanders, and a red-legged frog. This observation really sticks out because of the sheer quantity of threatened and endangered species! Also, it was her most recent notable observation, and every good field observation feels like the best one!
If Grace were not working in environmental consulting, she would likely pursue a career in academic research or teaching biology to high schoolers because she is passionate about biology.
Thank you, Grace, for all your hard work and dedication. We are so lucky to have you on our team!
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