My name is Assalia Belmares, the Edinburg Scenic Wetlands and World Birding Center’s new Interpretive Naturalist.
To tell you a little bit about myself, I am a Valley native and graduate from the University of Texas Pan American. In 2005, I received my Bachelors in Business Administration and currently pursuing a second degree in Biology.
Despite my business background, I've been drawn to the great outdoors and watching wildlife since I was a young girl. Till this day, I enjoy climbing the sap-stained limbs of the honey mesquite tree to get a better view of the Valley’s spectacular flora and fauna. Strangely enough, as time passes it has been challenging to find a sturdy branch to hold my weight!
Before my employment with the Edinburg World Birding Center (EWBC), I worked as a park ranger for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service at the Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge in Alamo, Texas. Here I participated in various projects and programs including the Friends of Santa Ana Canoe Trips, the Federal Duck Stamp Program, and Volunteer Program. I have to admit, I had the most fun working with our Winter Texan volunteers.
Today, as I continue to explore and learn more about the natural biological wealth of the Lower Rio Grande Valley, I am surprised to see how much of it can easily go unnoticed. Fortunately, during my journey I have also had the opportunity to meet curious minds from many sectors of this world; some experts, some novice, but all with the same excitement to find or rediscover the natural beauty of this area.
In the few months of my employment with EWBC, I have seen how the Edinburg World Birding Center has taken an active role in providing the LRGV community and tourist with a new form of recreation— birding. This facility has also worked hard to promote conservation methods for biodiversity through “hands on” environmental education programs and lectures such as, The Wonders of Wetlands Program and Friday Night with a Naturalist series. I am proud to take part of the World Birding Center’s objectives and excited to serve my local community.