Nicole Schmidt graduated in 2013 from the University of California, Santa Cruz with a Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Studies and a minor in Sociology. She became passionate about inspiring communities to develop a connection with the natural world and engage in sustainable behaviors through environmental education. During her undergraduate career, Nicole taught classroom field trips about marine science and conservation and was a botany intern at the Arboretum. Upon graduating, Nicole taught organic gardening, alternative forms of energy and natural history through experiential lessons hiking in the Santa Cruz Mountains. This inspired her to move to San Francisco to work in the public school system where she increased access to green spaces for underrepresented students. She managed a school garden teaching next generation science standards to over 380 students. Recently, she led community based restoration programs to 5000 volunteers and 2000 students annually to restore the transition zone of tidal marsh habitat. Focusing on Conservation Planning and Ocean Resources Management at Bren, Nicole plans to work with coastal conservation and policy organizations to equitably protect and restore natural systems and biological diversity while partnering with underrepresented communities to make sure everyone is included in the decision making processes.