Noel splits his time between working with Andrea Polli, the Civil Engineering Department's SMILab and Lobo Gardens, all of which are based out of the University of New Mexico. This year will be his third time working with AmeriCorps but his first time as a VISTA, a full year’s service. Noel studied Fine Arts at the Cooper Union in Manhattan for two years but left school to focus on environmental conservation. After a season each with both the National Park Service and the National Forest Service, he realized that he couldn’t see himself doing anything long-term other than art. He transferred to the University of New Mexico to study Art and Ecology. During these studies he participated in the Land Arts of the American West program where he utilized his medium of choice, fishing wire, to create wind harps and wrappings around boulders and cholla. His current life work is to bring art practice and environmental conservation together which often leads him into educational positions. Noel is excited to spend the next year nurturing a budding green thumb and his love for desert plants. He hopes Ame (ah-may), his dog named after the Japanese word for rain, will overcome his fear of water and inanimate objects.