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Jackie Gonzales
Albany Member

An environmental historian, researcher, observer, and writer, Jackie joined the Albany hive in August 2019.


I’m a(n)…

environmental historian, researcher, observer, writer.

I’m passionate about…

nature, words, food, family.

Briefly describe your work.

We [Historical Research Associates] specialize in historic research and writing for environmental and tribal litigation, interpretive exhibits, administrative histories, and historic content development for public relations firms.

As historians, we are skilled at going through lots of information quickly and making sense of it. It’s sort of a combination of detective work and data processing, where the data is old, hard to find, and maybe handwritten.

What do you love about what you do?

The variety. We work on so many different projects — I might go from reading a diary entry about a trench someone dug in a marsh in 1910 to a letter about cavers discovering new passageways in South Dakota in 1963. It’s always intellectually stimulating, never a dull moment.

How did you start (your work)?

I have a PhD in environmental history. During grad school, I worked at environmental policy organizations in Albany and then for the National Park Service as a seasonal ranger at several parks across the country.

This historic, policy, and governmental experience helps me to jump right into a variety of projects and understand current and historical implications.

Where do you see your work going in the next year… five?

Build new litigation and interpretive services business in the northeast. HRA has worked on projects in New York State for over 15 years, conducting in-depth historical research and analysis related to contaminated properties and waterways for CERCLA contribution and cost-recovery claims, but this is our first office in the region.

What do you like best about BEAHIVE?

I’m still new, but so far, I love how you can meet people in totally different industries who you might never run into otherwise. It’s a more diverse and interesting work community than I’ve ever had in a company or nonprofit’s independent office.

What’s your favorite thing about the local community?

Location! I love being in downtown Albany, in walking distance to farmers’ markets, and on beautiful, historic streets. I walk to and from BEAHIVE, passing the capitol building on my way every day. Can’t beat that.

Anything else you want us to know?

I’m originally from Atlanta, Georgia, and I’m always up for some southern food!

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