Debra Hill grew up adjacent to the Gila National Forest in southwestern New Mexico, and can remember few weekends that she wasn’t hiking, camping or riding horses. Her experiences observing nature, catching lizards and exploring the Gila Wilderness resulted in a lifetime of passion and a career. Debra received her Bachelor’s degree in Zoology at Western New Mexico University. She then received her Master’s degree at New Mexico State University, where she studied the Sacramento Mountain Salamander (Aneides hardii). In 2002, Debra took a student position with US Fish and Wildlife Service, where she was able to work in the field with most of New Mexico’s reptiles and amphibians. In particular, Debra found her calling working with the Dunes Sagebrush Lizard (Sceloporus arenicolus) in the Mescalero Sands of southeastern New Mexico. The unique ecosystem and biological diversity is phenomenal, and has led to a career dedicated to its conservation. Debra now works with a variety of conservation tools to establish meaningful partnerships and conservation efforts in the southwest.
What Are We Conserving? A Lizard’s Tale