Dalila Lara graduated in June of 2022 from the University of California Santa Barbara (UCSB) with a Bachelor of Arts in Biological Anthropology and Global Studies. Because of Dalila’s resource management and climate change interests she joined the UCSB Smithsonian Scholars Program which introduced her to conservation research. She became interested in the field of ecology and joined the program's field crew, where she monitored camera traps to track the endemic Channel Island spotted skunk.
Upon realizing data analysis is essential for conducting research, she interned at the Smithsonian Office of Chief Information Office (OCIO) Data Science Lab where she developed R, Python, and Unix Shell coding skills. She continued exploring her interest in research while studying abroad in Italy; where she interned at the Medici Archive project, digitizing historical documents to increase data accessibility for researchers.
Today, Dalila has realized the importance of data collection and analysis through her hands-on experiences on and off the field. She wishes to further learn and hone the skills of data science to build the essential skills set of an environmental researcher. Dalila is currently a Master of Environmental Data Science student at the Bren School of Environmental Science &Management at UC Santa Barbara. She plans to use her learned data science skills towards environmental sustainability and conservation, all while empowering underrepresented minorities to enter the field of environmental science.