Alicia, a 2006 graduate of Seattle University, served as a coordinator with the Osa Sea Turtle Conservation Program. She instructed volunteers from all over the world, speaking to tourists, working with the local population, and going out on all-night beach patrols to observe the sea turtles laying eggs and monitor nests. The work with turtles addresses the plight of an endangered animal and connects with larger ecological issues of environmental degradation and the effects of human presence. Alicia not only found hope in the baby turtles, but also in the groups of volunteers from all over the world. Despite different languages and national and political persuasions, groups bonded over the hard work, listened to one another, and found that they have much in common.
With her KF Grant, Alicia attended the International Sea Turtle Symposium in February 2007. The symposium experience, along with completing a spotted-owl survey for the National Parks Service at Mount Rainier, preceded and strengthened her application to the Peace Corps Master's International Program. In the fall of 2008, Alicia began her master's studies, specializing in International Conservation and Development, with a focus on wildlife.