I am about to move from Michigan to Wisconsin. You’d think that since they are neighboring states, it’d be easy, but I have to circumnavigate Lake Michigan. I could take the ferry across, but I didn’t purchase a ticket 2 weeks in advance (plus I hear it’s costly). Instead, I’m looking forward to driving through the upper peninsula. I’ve never seen the southern part of the UP, and I look forward to a long scenic drive on Sunday, mother’s day. I know my mother would be proud that I’m starting this new journey.
The ICF says my accommodations are set up. I expect to have dormitory amenities and very little time to enjoy them (maybe this is a blessing…). I can’t wait to change up my lifestyle. I’ll add a little more activity, remove a whole lot of sitting/studying, and eat at regular intervals (food that doesn’t end in “-meal”).
Assuming you know very little about me, I will give a brief description of where I’ve been.
• I’m finishing up my Professional Masters of Science (industry applicable master’s) which I’ve geared towards developing conservation programs. I love everything about setting up conservation projects and programs. I think it goes along with my personality. I’ve always been a big-picture kind of person. I like making connections between things and people to make the world an easier place to live in.
• I’ve been working with Potter Park Zoo on developing their conservation program strategy and I developed an assessment of programs they can implement at their zoo to increase their conservation impact that fits with the mission.
• I worked at Toronto Zoo in a Conservation/Education/
• I was a full time zookeeper at the Saginaw children’s zoo. This is where I discovered my calling to work in the zoo industry. I loved everything about working with the animals and the coworkers were fantastic people full of common sense with a passion for animals and teaching children about them.
• When I wasn’t working at the zoo, I worked at an animal clinic. I like to say I was playing with other people’s pets. It’s true, though: those dogs (and especially cats) got a lot of good attention from me.
• I also worked in the Biology Department at SVSU, which gave me a good working knowledge of biology laboratories, lab test procedures, chemicals, etc. One of my favorite tasks was taking care of the department animals. For some reason, I just love watching snakes eat. When we received crayfish, I had a blast taking care of them.
• Do I really need to say that I grew up in an intermittent zoo? Sequentially, my family had cats, dogs, chickens, rabbits, goats, horses, fish, parakeet, finches, and ducks.
My desire to make a significant impact on the survival of wildlife in their natural habitats
If this eastern whooping crane population is successful (by that, I mean it can eventually survive with limited (or even better; without) human management I will be able to say that I contributed to that. I made the world a more beautiful place.