About Irene's Work

Irene Vasquez works as a Cultural Ecologist for Yosemite National Park where she helps implement projects that restore stewardship by traditionally associated Tribes for cultural and natural resource protection and preservation. In 2022, Irene is leading the Tribal-Led Renewal of Black Oak Traditions for Climate Adaptation project which seeks to restore acorn quality for food and seedling viability with cultural fire practitioners. Irene was raised in the traditions of her people, the Southern Sierra Miwuk, a Native American Tribe, who live near Mariposa and Yosemite. After graduating as a first-generation student from UC Santa Cruz in 2009 she began working as a wilderness restoration worker seasonally for the National Park Service and traveling internationally. She graduated with a degree in Environmental Science and Natural Resource Management in 2019 from Humboldt State University. Irene interweaves knowledge of native plants, restoration ecology and understanding of Indigenous traditional land use management to better manage natural and cultural resources on public land.