As a member of IRC’s programs team, Ashley Tirona develops opportunities for the community to connect with the natural resources in their own backyard. Before joining the Conservancy, Ashley graduated from the University of California, Santa Barbara with a Bachelor of Science in Zoology, then taught marine science in various informal settings including public aquariums and residential camps. After serving as an AmeriCorps member in Wyoming, she gained a deep passion for teaching others about marine and terrestrial environments.
“I feel really lucky to work with the volunteers that we have,” said Tirona. “They are some of the most dedicated individuals to this organization and it is exciting to share in a new discovery with them, like stumbling across a new wildflower or catching a glimpse of a bobcat.”
Ashley’s diverse experiences and strong passion for the environment have played a key role in her work with Irvine Ranch Conservancy. For over a year, Ashley has worked with the Conservancy to organize and execute large-scale events like BioBlitz or Wilderness Access Days, which can draw anywhere from 20 to 450 people.
Out of the 40,000 acres of open space, the Red Rocks at Black Star Canyon Wilderness Park is one of her favorite spots on the Landmarks.
“I love the Red Rocks at Black Star Canyon,” she said. “There is something mesmerizing about these large geological formations that look like they came out of Utah or Colorado!”
Aside from the Landmarks and her work with IRC community programs, Ashley can also be found exploring her other passion: the ocean! She enjoys tide pooling and conversations about plankton, fish, and Opisthobranchs.
To learn more about the public programs offered on the Irvine Ranch Natural Landmarks, visit LetsGoOutside.org.