Environmental Specialist | How I got my job & where I’m going | Part 2 | Khan Academy

Stretching up I always enjoyed the ocean. It was where we spent almost every summer vacation, had to be by the beach. My parents told me one time that they found me shedding jellyfish back into the ocean because I was trying to save them and I didn’t really understand that they would probably like sting my hands. I adored being at the aquarium, being at the ocean. I was gonna be a dolphin teach. I was gonna be a marine biologist. I was gonna save the world countries and save all the sea turtles. In high school I did an internship at a hospital and briefly thought that I wanted to be a physical therapist so I went to college as a physical care major and spent two years studying, kind of getting a feel for it, and at the end of my second time I broke my arm and I had to go to physical care and that process established me recognize it was not in fact the right field for me, and in my soul I foresee I knew it all along, that I had to go back to biology.So I switched majors and graduated on time, even after switching, with my bachelor’s in biology. I had two great advisors who helped me line up all my direction manipulate and make sure that everything applied where it could. After I graduated I invested the summer offshore of New Hampshire on an island doing animation policing and volunteering at a small marine lab out there. I came home in the dusk and merely started applying to jobs and internships everywhere, wasn’t squeamish, I time had to find something. And intent up at Mystic Aquarium in the winter make an internship with their marine swine extricate program, so that was my first taste of working with stranded seals, dolphins, doing necropsies, doing the collected data, are concerned with swine in rehabilitation that are getting released.After my internship resolved I went back to New Hampshire to work on small island developing and I administered the marine lab that I had been volunteering at the year before. So we did daily tide kitty saunters and education programs with groups that came to visit, managing their fish tanks and their live animal collection for the summer, which was a lot of fun, and when I came home I was hired at Mystic full day. So I was an aquarist, which is someone who takes care of the aquarium fish in our barrels and I charged with the responsibility of our ocean turtle, our sharks and our lights, and some of our humid fish. So I did that for two years, are concerned with our veterinary staff and our education staff, forming sure swine were well-fed, well-cared for, healthful. We did education programs with field trips and school groups and summer camp programs that would come to learn about our swine. VIPs would come and have, you know, a special behind the scenes day and we’d get to take them around and show them all the fun stuff and it was a really great experience but I always knew that I wanted to go back to clas and I wanted to keep doing more and to specialize in my field.After two years of working at the aquarium, I applied to grad school and I was accepted at Duke for my Master of Environmental Management with a focus in coastal management and it’s a two year platform so I moved down to North Carolina and I did one year at the primary campus in Durham and my second year was at our coastal campus in Beaufort, North Carolina, at their naval laboratory, and in between I got a scholarship to move out to San Francisco for the summer where I acted at the Marine Mammal Center doing reclamation and marine swine rescue for got a couple of hundred miles of the California coastline. So it was a much different scale than working at Mystic in our small-time little Connecticut and Rhode Island zone, but really fantastic experience working with some top people in our orbit. So after I finished my master’s degree in 2013, I started applicable in respect of occupations. I had been all of springtime semester and did a couple of interviews and a duo went well and a duo didn’t go well and they weren’t really going anywhere for me so I stayed in North Carolina and i worked for a professor on a research project and could still merely dig deeper into volunteering with marine mammal stranding and necropsies and sea turtle stranding and was able to work on some sea turtle handouts and satellite tag some turtles and get truly valuable hands-on experience through that while also still use a little and trying to survive and has become a brand-new professional working.After a pair months of that, I moved down to Charleston. At that moment I was dating my future husband so we moved down to Charleston together and figured we’d take a stab at a fresh start and I didn’t have much luck getting started down there so I must be given to withdraw my respect. I had the option of starting to waitress or starting to work at the South Carolina Aquarium as a extremely entry-level position in guest works. I stimulated nine dollars an hour, which is very hard to swallow your pride and come back from grad school and I’m gonna save the world and all of a sudden I’m back in a position that I could have done fresh out of college when I didn’t have all this great experience, but I knew I had to be in the field and connected to marine biology somehow so I remain it out and while I was doing that I was still doing sea turtle garrison before drudgery and volunteering for their NOAA office on the weekends and whatever I could do to only maintain my paw in the door somewhere.And after a few months of is currently working on the aquarium, I was interviewed for its own position at South Carolina Department of Natural Aid through a contact that I’d met in grad school and I never studied I’d see him again and bumped into him at a winery at Charleston one day and suddenly reconnected again. So he facilitated me get an interview and I was hired that time to work for a fishery’s research project so we were doing sampling of the snapper grouper complex in South Caroline offshore seas. So we would go out on a research boat for five days, a week, 10 daytimes at a time, and fish in these traps that you are able to deploy 300 or 400 paws deep and we are to be able take the fisheries industry up, we are to be able threw them on ice, and then make tests of their ear bones, of their reproductive organs.We would quantify everything , indicate any surprising genus that were there, and delivering this information back to the biologists “whos” visualizing how fast these animals were germinating, how well they were reproducing out there, and what the health of those fisheries was. Extremely in marine biology, it is a very small field, even smaller within sea turtle biologists or naval mammal biologists on the east coast, so so much better of what we do is who you know. On our storey right here I think we have about 10 other people the hell is alumnus of my position curriculum at Duke who have similar ordeals and same backgrounds. So so much of what we do involves alumni rallies. Since I’ve been here, I’ve go student telephone calls from current students asking how I got here, and I’ve also been on the other end of that, calling alumnu and setting up lunches and says here did you get to where you are? How did you do this? How can I do this too? What can I improve on? Seeing who they know in different municipals and who they know in different fields that are similar and they might have something or they might know someone else, so so much better of what we do is involved in networking and contacts that you build.So while I was in South Carolina, my lover, to-be husband, was offered a position overseas and we spoke it and we decided that it was really exciting and had a lot of potential for him as well as a very promising salary and some benefits that would really help us get going in our future. So he made the decision to take that and he moved to Egypt, which was not the easiest decision, but in the end it utterly was right for where we were at that time.So I was still in South Carolina and my family is from western Massachusetts so I started “ve been thinking about” what could I do to be closer to my family while he’s gone. He was planning to be away for 18 months to two years. When I was in grad school I got onto three different listservs, one for a sea turtle biologist, one for naval mammal research and stranding biologists, and one in the DC area that’s called DCMC, the DC Marine Community, and they do racket postings, internship postings, research papers and essays that have come out, and that was a huge lead on who’s hiring, what types of positions are out right now, what salaries are being offered right now, who might have something, even only appoints of companies to start looking at.And I got an email from a listserv I’m on that said that NOAA’s Protected Aid “re looking for” a new contractor to work on these projects that I was very interested in and species that I was interested in. So I applied and I did one interview and I thought it was just the preliminary, you are familiar with, style down your top 10 applicants, and it turns out that was it. I transported it a writing test and my remarks and they announced back really perhaps two weeks later and said here today they made an offer. It was much faster than I expected it to happen, but once all the cases were in motion now I was.I “ve had my” mothers come up and look for suites for me because I was still in South Carolina and they’re about two hours away from Gloucester so I transport them a list of things and said, assistance me find something. I’ll come home but you know what I need. Here’s my budget. Here’s where I conclude I want to be. I knew I didn’t wanna be in Boston, having a long commute , not knowing too much of what the area would be like or what traffic conditions would be like, so they picked out an accommodation in Gloucester that was about three miles from the bureau and then they flew down and my daddy drove me back up with our suite full of trash and descent me off in Gloucester and now we are .( mocks) A bunch of contractors do be brought to an end becoming federal employees. It’s just a matter of funding and being in the right place when a position opens up. So I’ve been a contractor for about two and a half years and I’m applying to full occasion authority smudges at this detail. I’m hoping that in the next year or so some fund will be open in either the protected resources discord now or down at the science center in Woods Hole or potentially even another NOAA location around the country. Federal hires have a lot of flexibility. They can then move to other regions or other fractions. Sometimes people move over to Fish and Wildlife Service to work on other species as well. So formerly you move up and become a federal employee you do have more options that way.Within the government full time employees, there are different pay straps and it’s a complicated process to understand but they’re different ways of being hired at specific levels that have more promotional potential to them. Each discord now has a division head and then there are superintendents for each of our four units and then within a unit there are people who are on higher pay stripes who have worked their nature up through those different bands who had maybe started as contractors or entry-level biologists and after a couple of years they’ve been able to move up within the system and have grows and promotional possible that route. Some immense ways to get started planning your job as a biologist, you could volunteer at an aquarium or a stranding equipment or an animal care facility to get that hands-on experience. There are a lot of conferences that are about marine mammal health or sea turtle state or stranding. I did a lot of networking with alumni, especially through grad school, because so many of our alumnu in our battleground are filling other grads from our platform so it’s a very close-knit group.So I did a lot of reaching out to alumni and inviting them how they got there and what else I could be doing that they had already done. Joining listservs was a great way be talking about new opportunities and what fields were hiring and what constitutions were hiring and what study was coming out that I should know about and stay on top of as well as just what meetings or episodes were happening as well that I could participate in ..

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