Yolanda Barba Gutiérrez's Diary
Mammals of Nova Scotia

« Back to all Posts

June 22, 2009: First contact

Gutierrez Hi everyone! My name is Yolanda Barba and work as a process engineer in Alcoa-Inespal Casthouse. My experience started on January 13 when I received an email from my Alcoa Foundation Leader in Alcoa Aviles, Vanesa Fernández, encouraging people to participate in ecological research projects around the world with an international non-profit organization called Earthwatch. I had not heard about it before, but I thought I'd really like to become an Alcoa Earthwatch Fellow and sent my application for a 2009 Fellowship immediately. Prior to Alcoa, I did a PhD in Business Management and I focused all my research on sustainable development, especially on the environmental impact of WEEE (Waste of Electrical and Electronic Appliances) so I would really want to participate in an expedition working on this topic, especially on climate change, a growing problem in the last few decades. 
I was disappointed when I received the following notice: “You have been selected as an alternate for the 2009 Alcoa Earthwatch Fellowship program. In the event that an Earthwatch Fellow cannot accept the project to which he/she has been assigned, Earthwatch may call on our alternate pool to replace them."
At first I felt that I had no chance, but I did not give up hope! I was very much hoping to receive a new letter from Earthwatch, and on June 3, I received one of the most exciting letters of my life: “Congratulations! Earthwatch Award - The Mammals of Nova Scotia." I had been selected to participate in the upcoming Earthwatch-Alcoa expedition and had been selected as a 2009 Earthwatch Fellow! I was so excited that I called my parents, my boyfriend, my colleagues,…. It is not possible to describe my feelings at that moment. I had just one day to answer that offer, but it took me only one minute to reply. My dream was just beginning.

Content currently unavailable. Please check back later.


Click image to enlarge.


Yolanda Barba Gutiérrez, casthouse process engineer Avilés smelter, Spain