Catie Mong

Partner Biologist, Merced

As a Partner Biologist, I work in the Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) office in Merced. I work with farmers and ranchers to facilitate conservation planning and provide technical and financial assistance. The goal is to build soil health, promote wildlife habitat and ecosystem services while maintaining economic function in the face of challenges like climate change and water shortage in the Central Valley. Additionally, I monitor wetland easements and conduct soil, vegetation, and bird surveys on rangelands for landowners and at UC Merced’s Vernal Pool & Grassland Reserve.

Originally from Texas, I grew up with a love for nature and horses. At Stanford University I obtained my B.S. and M.S. in Earth Systems with a focus on Land Systems and competed on the Western Equitation Team. A pivotal internship with The Cheetah Conservation Fund in Namibia and their emphasis on working with ranchers to secure a livelihood for wildlife and people inspired me to want to work at the intersection of ranching and conservation. I later interned at Santa Lucia Conservancy and TomKat Ranch, the latter of which is where I first encountered Point Blue. While I enjoyed my brief time assisting ranchers working for PastureMap, I quickly realized I missed being out on the land. Moving to Merced in 2020 for the partner biologist position, I’ve enjoyed working with ranchers, but also expanding my knowledge to work in orchards, cropland, and dairies.

When not out in the field, you can find me rock climbing, hiking with my mini Australian Shepherd, or dancing. While starting out dancing salsa on Los Salseros de Stanford, I’ve expanded my repertoire to include West Coast Swing, Kizomba, and Brazilian Zouk. I have trained with dance teachers throughout the US, Mexico, Puerto Rico, and Brazil and am conversational in both Spanish and Portuguese.