WFVZ Staff Image Nico Hodgson

Nico Hodgson (Collections Assistant and Field Research Assistant)

Nico (they/them) began working at the WFVZ as a volunteer in the summer of 2018 while a student at the University of California, Santa Cruz (UCSC). They graduated in Spring 2021 with a B.S. in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. Nico was  hired at the WFVZ as a Field Research Assistant during the 2022 field season to assist with counts of Least Bell’s Vireos, and nest monitoring for many bird species on our primary restoration sites. They have chosen to stay on to help in the WFVZ library and collections temporarily until they move on to their next learning adventure!

While a student at UCSC, Nico interned at the Younger Lagoon Reserve’s bird banding station, served as a field technician in Dr. Bruce Lyon’s lab studying Golden-crowned Sparrow migratory behavior, and assisted with conservation efforts and behavioral studies of Rhinoceros Auklets and other seabirds at Año Nuevo Island with Oikonos Ecosystem Knowledge. 

After graduating, they published Field Guide to Birds of UC Santa Cruz Younger Lagoon Reserve & Coastal Science Campus; a self-authored and illustrated guide featuring the 100 most common bird species of the area. They created this resource for birders of all experience levels to enrich their knowledge and relationship to these incredible creatures. 

With their sight set on graduate school, Nico will continue to find ways in which expand the breadth and depth of their experience studying birds. Increasing their contributions to avian research, advocating for community wellbeing, and supporting indigenous-led habitat conservation efforts are values that will guide Nico’s path into the foreseeable future.