By Roadtrip Nation

Jessie Olson


My road in life has been direct.
I’ve always loved plants and knew I wanted to make a career out of that interest but didn’t know what that would look like as it wasn’t a very popular career area where I grew up in Illinois.
For college, I decided to move to California where people were more environmentally-focused so that I could better explore the different career paths involving plants.
I graduated from the University of California, Davis, with a degree in environmental horticulture and urban forestry.
I graduated during an economic downtown through which environmental work was hit hard, so I took internships to gain experience—I worked at a community garden and also did some policy work.
An AmeriCorps internship led me into the nonprofit sector—I realized that I really enjoyed working with other mission-driven people.
I then joined Golden Gate National Park Conservancy, where I oversaw construction work in ecologically sensitive areas and restored plant communities.
I spent a little bit of time with an environmental consulting firm but didn’t feel as fulfilled by the work, so I decided to transition back into the nonprofit sector.
I joined Save the Bay in 2014 as a nursery manager and worked my way up to my current role as habitat restoration director.
Keep following my journey


High School
Environmental Horticulture and Urban Forestry
University of California, Davis


Habitat Restoration Director

I lead a team of habitat restoration practitioners and environmental educators that teach about tidal marsh restoration.

Career Roadmap

My work combines:
My work combines:
Environment & Nature
Upholding a Cause and Belief

Day to Day

I manage a team of habitat restoration and environmental education professionals to restore native tidal marsh habitat and educate students and members of the public about their local environment. On a day to day basis, that can be anything from joining them in the field to reporting on our work and seeking out new funding and projects to contribute to.

Advice for Getting Started

Here's the first step for everyone

Find your team. Find the people who are passionate about the same causes as you and then figure out ways that you can fit into that work. I've learned through my career that it's incredibly important to work with people who are as passionate about what you're doing as you are.