José Hinterholzer Pino
Director of the Natural Reserves of Balam Kin and Balam-Kú, SEMARNATCAM (Ministry of the Environment and Natural Resources of the State of Campeche)
Bachelor in Environmental Studies, 2016
“Get involved, be engaged, volunteer, and go to events in the Faculty and University – that becomes an advantage in terms of adding value to the educational experience as it enriches it in multiple ways”
From addressing the conservation status of local animals and educating the community about them, acknowledging how certain trees drive illegal logging, to identifying new species, Jose Hinterholzer Pino’s work as the Director of the Natural Reserves of Balam Kin and Balam-Kú in Mexico is exactly what you might be thinking of when you hear ‘environmental studies’.
Pino graduated from York University in October of 2016 after completing his Honours Bachelor in Environmental Studies degree in the Environmental Management concentration. The Environmental Management stream allowed him “to learn the social and technical aspects of environmental topics”. A diligent student, he graduated with his name on the Dean’s Honour Roll list, and during his studies, was also very active in school life. “While being a full-time student, I also worked at the York Federation of students, performed as a Map and GIS (Geographic Information System) Assistant at the Map Library at York, and volunteered as a peer mentor at the Faculty of Environmental Studies”.
Although it took a few months after graduation to get to where he is now with SEMARNATCAM (Ministry of the Environment and Natural Resources of the State of Campeche), Pino is passionate about his job and sees it as his “duty to ensure the appropriate management and compliance with the direction plans of the reserves and oversee all projects related to such processes”.
Some of the more critical issues he manages on a daily basis include the cattle-jaguar conflict in which farmers are killing at-risk jaguars to protect their cattle, or the illegal logging crisis. Part of his job is to look at alternative solutions such as community education in addition to spearheading a project that will provide appropriate fencing that minimizes ecological fragmentation. His role requires him to work with interdisciplinary teams on a variety of tasks that call for different skills and specialties. For example, when he’s working on species registration and updating the reserves’ species inventories, he is responsible for recruiting volunteers from different backgrounds such as environmental studies, biology, and GIS mapping.
His advice to students is based on his experience: “I made friends while being informed of potential opportunities such as on-campus jobs. Get involved, be engaged, volunteer, and go to events in the Faculty and University – that becomes an advantage in terms of adding value to the educational experience as it enriches it in multiple ways.”
Written by: Abigael Pamintuan