Greetings Everyone! I’m back and ready for business!
Wow, it’s been over 1 year since my last post? This is very disappointing but I am very glad to start writing again. A lot has happened in my life since my last post. I mean A LOT. From job changes, to personal dilemmas, to amazing experiences and opportunities. I apologize for an extremely long delay in posts but this year has been a roller coaster. I have had zero time to really sit down and write.
I was looking over my past posts and noticed on how eager I was to get my career on track. I can’t believe it has finally happened. I could not feel more fortunate that it has happened this quick. I have so many amazing updates and I wanted to share them with whoever reads my blog. (I think I may have lost my followers) but I hope to get them back and add new ones! This time, I will try my best to not disappear. Besides wanting to share my experiences with everyone, blogging really helps my writing, and improves skills that I need to work on.
Well, where do I begin? December of last year after my internship at Pelican Harbor was over, I was offered a job at a science museum in south Florida. The position was for a Wildlife Keeper and I got to provide husbandry and care for reptiles, fish, and birds of prey. The job was incredible, and I learned so much from the position. I was able to help maintain a 3,000 gallon Indo-pacific reef tank. In the reptile section, I provided husbandry for tortoises, turtles, snakes, lizards, arachnids and amphibians. And in the birds of prey department, I was part of the rehab team, helping sick and injured birds of prey and releasing them back in the wild. It really was a cool job but there is always a bad side to everything. It was a part time position and money was tight, but I held on because this was an opportunity I could not let go. My plan was to stay in the position for at least two years before applying to full time keeper or biologist positions. I needed to build my resume since it was my first position in my field.
After just 6 months working there, I was offered ANOTHER position at a wildlife rehab center in south Florida(a position I applied to before joining the museum) that is the largest animal care center in the entire country (or, so they say). The pay was almost double what I was making at the museum and the timing was just too perfect to not accept. Even though I was not at the museum for long, I felt it would be the appropriate step to take, so I can move forward in my career. The decision was not easy at all, it really felt like a battle, but in the end I decided to leave the museum and join the wildlife rehab center team.
The change was overwhelming, work demand was doubled and there is little room for error for mistakes in my department. At the museum, it was extremely relaxed and I got to work at my own pace. I don’t regret the decision but I do sure miss the museum. So it has been exactly 6 months that I have worked at the wildlife rehab center and I have learned even more, just because they handle more variety of species. My position is basically the same thing what I did at the museum but the name is different. I feel very fortunate to be part of such an amazing team and the people there really are great to work with. It is intimidating because of the work demand but I hold my head up high and just do the best I can and learn from my mistakes.
Next plan? right now I don’t exactly have a timed plan but I do hope to graduate soon and start participating in in depth research with biologists. My ultimate goal? Obtain a master’s degree and start doing a variety of research projects dealing mainly with birds and reptiles. (I have grown to love working with birds and reptiles!) This is more of a long term goal but nonetheless a goal.
Besides, the employment changes that have happened this past year, other exciting things have also happened! I have published my second article with the lovely “Strictly fish wrap” on wildlife rehabilitation. Check it out at http://strictlyfishwrap.com/2013/08/25/wildlife-rehabilitation-natures-hospital/. The article is a crash course on wildlife rehabilitation. What it is , how to get involved, the struggles, and accomplishments that wildlife rehab centers have with wildlife conservation.
BIG NEWS: A close friend who is a very experienced and licensed wildlife rehabilitator is doing two presentations for the NWRA (national wildlife rehabilitation association) symposium this March. The organization was asking for abstracts for presentations and she suggested I apply for one and so I did. I got a response and they asked me to also do a presentation for the abstract that I wrote! One of my biggest accomplishments and I could not be happier. The presentation will focus on Gopher Tortoises (gopherus polyphemus): Their history, ecology, behavior, and why they are important in the wildlife rehab field. It will be 30minutes long and it will take place in Tennessee.
That’s about it for the updates. A lot to take in ( I know). But, whoever is reading this, I want to let you know that with these amazing experiences, I want to share them with you, and touch on amazing topics that I did not have a chance to touch on before. I have so many ideas already running through my mind that I feel like writing them all down this moment, but I shall resist the urge. It’s migration season and a lot of birds are making the journey down here for food and mate pairing, so my job will be busy in the next coming months. This will provide lots of interesting stories and of course pictures. A blog is just not as entertaining without pictures of amazing animals that we share this planet with!
I will try my best to make my upcoming posts mostly scientific and ecology based but I can’t make any promises. A lot of my posts will probably be on my thoughts on whatever it is that I am writing. So until then, as Ray Arnold from Jurassic Park says: “hold on to your butts”.