Abugattas Jr, Alonso (Active)
Arlington County Parks & Natural Resources Division, Arlington, VA.
Natural Resources Manager
Alonso Abugattas Jr was born in Washington, DC on January 31, 1967, to a Peruvian family of mixed descent. His family valued the outdoors, and he spent his misspent youth hunting, shooting, and fishing, often missing school due to being outdoors. This different kind of outdoor education served him well in his future. He was at one time a competitive skeet shooter, being the junior international skeet champion for Virginia for several years. He later went to the College of William and Mary, getting his BS in Psychology with a Biology minor in 1990. He worked as a professional naturalist and environmental interpreter at several nature centers and jurisdictions, including Alexandria, Fairfax, Maryland-National Capitol Park and Planning Commission, and finally in Arlington, where he also served as the acting director for Long Branch Nature Center for 5 years. He later became the Natural Resources Manager for Arlington County. As a generalist, he has a good background in multiple taxa. He has served as an instructor for multiple master naturalist chapters in teaching various classes in both Maryland and Virginia. He was made an honorary master naturalist for his role in starting two (Arlington and Fairfax) chapters. He was also a former officer holding various position in the Virginia Native Plant Society, including president of the Potowmack Chapter. A member of the state identification team for the Virginia Herpetological Society, he wrote a natural history and identification book, The Reptiles and Amphibians of the Washington, DC Metropolitan Area. The Arlington Partnership for Children, Youth, and Families awarded him a “Connect With Kids’ Champion” in 2004. The Audubon Naturalist Society awarded him as a Regional Environmental Champion during a Naturally Latinos Conference. He is also the longtime Co- Chair of the Beltway Chapter of the National Association for Interpretation (NAI), the professional organization for naturalists, environmental educators, historians, docents, and others who interpret resources to the public. Through NAI, he is a Certified Heritage Interpreter, and has received regional and national awards, including the Regional Interpretive Manager of the Year and the national Master Interpretive Manager both in 2018. He was awarded the Thomas Say Interpretive Media Award for his social media outlets: the Capital Naturalist Blog, the Capital Naturalist YouTube Channel, the Capital Naturalist Facebook Group, and @CapNaturalist on Twitter.