Meet our summer interns!

By June 18, 2019Conservation

Our next generation of land stewards.


Taylor Massey, a senior pursuing a degree in forestry-wildlife management at Stephen F. Austin State University, is working as an intern this summer at Shield Ranch in Travis County. Taylor grew up on a small ranch near Austin where he was instilled with a deep fondness for the outdoors and the wildlife that inhabit it. This appreciation for the outdoors also led him to the Boy Scouts where he spent 7 years with Troop 280 in Dripping Springs and earned the rank of Eagle Scout. His love for the Texas Hill Country sparked his interest in Shield Ranch and propelled his desire to conserve and protect species native to the region. Taylor’s future aspiration is to obtain a graduate degree with the ultimate goal of becoming a Wildlife Biologist.

Hudson Nobles, a sophomore at Texas A&M University, is working at Shield Ranch in Travis County this summer.  Hudson is currently studying engineering with the hope of specializing in aerospace engineering. His dream job is to work in aircraft design and aerodynamics. Hudson has spent most of his life outdoors and greatly enjoys rock climbing, caving, whitewater kayaking, and fly fishing. He was drawn to work on the Shield Ranch because he would like to use his time and effort in a way that contributes to the sustainability and conservation of wild places such as Shield Ranch. One fun fact about Hudson is that he has been rock climbing consistently for 12 years, more than half of his life.

Hunter Hopkins is working as an intern this summer at Cherry Canyon Ranch near Toyahvale. He hails from Gruver, a small agricultural town in the Texas Panhandle where he grew up farming and ranching on the high plains of Texas, Oklahoma, and Colorado. Hunter was born with a passion for the outdoors, hunting, and fishing, which ultimately inspired him to study wildlife management at Sul Ross State University in Alpine, Texas where he is currently a senior. He held several offices in the Sul Ross State University Range and Wildlife Club and recently concluded his service as president of the organization. Hunter previously worked as a taxidermist’s apprentice, hunting guide, ranch hand, and an undergraduate research assistant studying pronghorn, bighorn sheep, and mesocarnivores on several projects headed by the Borderlands Research Institute.

Mason Johnson is working this summer on the Shield Ranch near Camp Wood. Born and raised in Texas, Mason graduated from Nueces Canyon High School with several academic scholarships and is currently attending Angelo State University. He expects to graduate in May 2020 (one year early!) with a Bachelor of Science in criminal justice and a minor in business management. Upon graduating he plans to join the Coast Guard Officer Cadet School. Mason has experience in construction, welding, operating light and heavy equipment, and has worked on several ranches. In addition, he volunteered with Paladin Community Services and the Real County Sheriff’s Office throughout his high school and college years. He enjoys hunting, fishing, and all things outdoors. Mason is enjoying living and working in the beautiful Texas Hill Country.