In Spotlights

Ivy Poisson – Environmental Planner at MIG

Ivy is an Environmental Planner and Restoration Ecologist at MIG.  Some of her recent work includes stream bank re-vegetation and restoration projects at recently completed construction sites in places like San Jose and Woodside. She has worked and lived in various locations along the California coast, but her favorite restoration site and success story is the Piedras Blancas Light Station, a beautiful spot along the central coast with coastal dune and chaparral habitat. Occasionally, she volunteers at Point Isabel Regional Shoreline in Richmond to restore a continuous stretch of land adjacent to the Bay Trail and Hoffman Marsh.

What is the educational and career path that led to your current career?

I studied Environmental Science because I wanted to understand the complex problems facing our world, and to learn more about the interdisciplinary solutions that were needed for these multifaceted problems. One of these solutions, and my passions, include habitat restoration, since this encompasses a lot of the things that I enjoy – science, working outdoors, and slowing watching a degraded landscape transform back into a native, ecologically diverse, and thriving landscape. It’s been really interesting watching some of the restoration projects along the San Francisco Bay tackling sea level rise through various innovative solutions.

How did you become interested in environmental work?

I first became interested in environmental work when I read an article about climate change in a magazine when I was about 12 or 13. Two things in that article stood out to me the most: the exponential increase of anthropogenic greenhouse gases and positive feedback loops. After learning about this, I remember feeling worried, very small, and ineffective, but that article became the catalyst for change for me. That article made me realize that yes, I was just one person, but I was one person that could either continue to do nothing, or I could start to make efforts to reduce my footprint on the earth while working towards a larger, positive impact. I knew there were many others that were already part of a movement to create environmentally-conscious change, and I was determined to join.

Discuss any mentors that have helped or inspired you to reach your aspirations.

There have been many amazing ladies that have blazed their own path to restoration ecology. The first was Carla D’Antonio, one of my restoration ecology professors at UC Santa Barbara. Then, when I was an intern, I had the pleasure of working with Donna Ball, the Habitat Restoration Director at Save the Bay. I’m currently working with Laura Moran, the Director of Ecosystem Restoration Services at MIG. Following these women’s careers and learning from them has been very inspirational, and it shows that restoration ecology can take place in any field – whether it be academic, non-profit, or corporate.

Want to connect with Ivy? You can connect with her on LinkedIn here.