Public Lands Transportation Fellows Projects 2014/2015

Valle de Oro and Rio Mora National Wildlife Refuge (Marisa Rodriguez-McGill)

Albuquerque, New Mexico is the definition of the true southwest. It’s rich culture and heritage, rooted in centuries of history with over 310 days of sun is the perfect formula for adventure in the great outdoors. Living in the heart of Albuquerque the selected transportation scholar will be working within this pristine landscape. The transportation scholar will be networking with multiple partner agencies on the local, state, and federal levels in the development of multi-modal transportation options for two new wildlife refuges as part of the planning for the Region’s newest wildlife refuges. These refuges offer different challenges as one refuge is in an urban setting, the other refuge is in a more traditional rural setting. The scholar will be evaluating the current state of infrastructure conditions and accessibility at the new refuges and work with the partner agencies on developing options for multi-modal access to them. They will also work closely with regional NWRS leadership as the overall site plans are developed sources of grants and other funding for development of transportation options are sought. Housing will either be a subsidized apartment off-site or an apartment that can be paid for with a stipend. A car will be needed for personal use unless you are comfortable using public transportation. Since the work site will be in Albuquerque public transportation or a bicycle may be sufficient for local transportation needs.

  • Valle de Oro and Rio Mora National Wildlife Refuge Application (pdf)
  • Transportation Scholar Marisa Rodriguez-McGill’s Bio (pdf)
  • Marisa Rodriguez-McGill’s 2014 TRB Poster (pdf)
  • Marisa Rodriguez-McGill’s 2014 Final Report (pdf)


US Fish and Wildlife Service – Headquarters Office (Andrew Valdez)

While most scholars are placed in the field at individual federal land units, newly hired scholar Andrew Valdez has a unique opportunity to work at the US Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) Headquarters Office in Arlington, Virginia. Andrew will keep busy over the next eleven months helping to implement the FWS Transportation Program within the US Department of Transportation’s Federal Lands Program. In addition to working on completing a first-generation National Long Range Transportation Plan, he will help with coordination between different offices within the headquarters, work with the GIS office to support ongoing and upcoming projects, and assist with the program’s annual budget. Andrew will gain valuable networking opportunities, an understanding of policy issues related to the MAP-21 surface transportation reauthorization legislation, and firsthand knowledge of the operations and interrelationships of the Federal Land Agencies and the Federal Lands Highway Program.

  • US Fish and Wildlife Service – Headquarters Office Application (pdf)
  • Transportation Scholar Andrew Valdez’s Bio (pdf)
  • Andrew Valdez’s 2014 TRB Poster (pdf)


San Diego National Wildlife Complex (Jacob Connor)

The San Diego National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) Complex is a network of protected lands in an urbanized coastal area, potentially accessible to over 3.5 million residents of the San Diego metropolitan area. The Complex is made up of four refuges in the southern California region, three in San Diego County including the San Diego Bay NWR (which includes the Sweetwater Marsh and South San Diego Bay units), San Diego NWR, and Tijuana Slough NWR and one in Orange County, the Seal Beach NWR. The Complex has unique opportunities to provide expanded transit and non-motorized transportation access options for the public to visit and enjoy wildlife and natural habitats. To take advantage of these opportunities, the transportation scholar will assist the Complex in creating a transportation plan that identifies the existing multimodal transportation opportunities, works with partners to develop proposals for expanding existing access opportunities, and finally, to develop tools for informing the public of how they can take advantage of these options for accessing the Refuges within San Diego.

  • Transportation Scholar Jacob Connor’s Bio (pdf)
  • Jacob Connor’s 2015 Final Report (pdf)