Victoria “V” Ortiz hails from Los Angeles, where she began a lifetime love affair with the outdoors, and burritos. After graduating from UCLA with a B.A. in Geography and Environmental Studies, she evolved from being an outdoor guide and environmental educator to a communications specialist.
Victoria believes that one of the most important ways to promote our planet’s long-term environmental well-being is through targeted and effective outreach to businesses, the public and policy-makers, and collaboration with like-minded entities. She has pursued this mission as a bilingual guide for an academic trek in rural Costa Rica, as the AmeriCorps member for a land trust in rural California, and as the communications liaison for a government agency in Lake Tahoe.
When she’s not working, she’s adventuring–biking 1,800 miles along the U.S. Pacific Coast, backpacking to remote huts in New Zealand, or scuba diving in crystal clear Mexican cenotes.
“The complexity of human relationships with landscape fascinates me. As a bilingual Latina woman who has spent years in the environmental sector both domestically and abroad I’ve learned to listen before I speak. I understand that problems are not just cultural, environmental or economic, but rather a synergy of them all. There is no one culprit or solution, but there are an abundance of stakeholders who are all fighting to protect these incredible outdoor resources.
“I have sat in different seats around this table of conservation, at times representing an avid outdoorswoman, occasionally on behalf of a government agency, and I recognize the value of compromise and relationship-building. I hope to bring a perspective of inclusion to SHIFT. I want to listen to and share stories of our experiences in the outdoors so that ultimately we can work together to conserve our public lands.”
V is a member of the 2017 Emerging Leaders Program.