“Appreciate the beauty in being both gentle and strong.”
Inspiration for Work
Conservation enthusiast, Trica Oshant Hawkins, has transformed her childhood love for nature into a career of lifelong stewardship. In her youth, Trica would capture horned lizards in Texas and praying mantises in Thailand. After discovering how these creatures died indoors, she decided wild things needed to stay wild. From then on, her connection with nature has mirrored her relationship to family and community. Today, Trica’s passion for stewardship stems from a need to protect her own family, of which nature is a part.
Trica has put conservation into action through her role as a conservation communicator, educator, and researcher. During her time serving on the Catalina Bighorn Sheep Advisory Council for the Arizona Game and Fish Department, she was able to help bring bighorn sheep back to Tucson’s Santa Catalina Mountains. Even with overlapping perspectives at stake, she and others on the Council used consensus building to spearhead recovery. This experience not only restored sheep to the mountain but also informed her master’s thesis in collaborative conservation. Today, her thesis continues to influence her work with the Arizona Wildlife Federation, Environmental Education Exchange (co-founder), and Desert Laboratory at Tumamoc Hill.
Insights from the Women in Conservation Leadership Summit
Attending the National Wildlife Federation 2018 Women in Conservation Leadership Summit inspired Trica to further value the unique contributions she brings to the table as a woman. When navigating her career, it was not uncommon for her to be the only woman in the field or at meetings. After the Women in Conservation Leadership Summit, Trica left encouraged to stay this course. Further, hearing others who have walked similar paths has energized her to help women that she works with step beyond their comfort zones.
Advice to Other Women in Conservation
Trica believes that women in their respective fields should not conform to fit in, but to say what they feel and embrace their individuality. Her experiences in the conservation arena have shown her the value of approaching problems with compassion, patience, and empathy. Trica says that softening over the years has helped her “appreciate the beauty in being both gentle and strong.”