Barbara is a native Brazilian who moved to the U.S. when she was 15 years old. At Florida International University, Barbara obtained her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Environmental Studies, and taught Ecology of South Florida for two years. Her thesis investigated the management of community forests in Oaxaca, Mexico. After completing her graduate studies, Barbara served in the Peace Corps, working as a Community Environmental Conservation Specialist in Los Santos, Panama. She strongly believes that education, community participation, and developing sustainable relationships are key components to conservation efforts.