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Old 11-10-2009, 07:49 PM
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Default Re: Not sure if I've introduced myself, but hello from flyover country!

Tom,

Welcome to the board, looking forward to more of your posts.

You're probably checking this already, but here's a link to the American Fisheries Society's job listings:

http://www.fisheries.org/afs/jobpage.php

mark
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Old 11-10-2009, 11:31 PM
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Default Re: Not sure if I've introduced myself, but hello from flyover country!

Tom,

Here's a few words of advice from someone who was in a similar position 24 years ago - enjoy the time you get to spend doing what you will be doing while you can.

Once upon a time I was, like you, a real biologist. Degrees from KU and K-State (Systematics and Ecology, and Range Management) 24 years old, and a new summer job as a Bio Tech at Fort Riley, which turned into a permanent job as a range tech. There were 4 of us in the office, and we did everything. Burned tens of thousands of acres hanging a drip torch out the door of a jeep, planted hundreds of acres of foodplots, did whistle counts, aerial deer counts, shocked, rotenoned, and seined ponds, and even "planted" jap millet by dumping it out the door of a hovering Huey helicopter! Over the course of the next 10 years or so I probably gutted 500 deer.

But the tragedy of our profession is that when you're doing what you got into it to do, you're not making any money. When you start making decent money, you're not doing what you got into it to do.

Our office staff slowly grew as environmental laws became more complicated and more widely applied to the DoD, and soon I was a supervisor doing less and less field work. In a few more years I started saying that I "used to be" a biologist, because I had become a bureaucrat, managing people, equipment, and money, not natural resources. I lived vicariously through my guys, and once in a while went out to watch them burn, or help trap elk when m schedule of constant meetings allowed. Eventually I became the Deputy Director of Environment and Safety, an organization with over 70 employees. Today, I'm a Strategic Planner in the Garrison Headquarters, and while I make good money, the 10-12 hour days I work are not nearly as much fun as some of the 14 hour days I used to put in at the deer check station or while prescribed burning.

So, again, the point of my long-winded story is to enjoy whatever job you find in the field, and for as long as you can keep working in the field. I still have the proud honor of serving the great Soldiers of the Big Red One and their families, but when I leave the Headquarters building on a spring day, and see a huge plume of smoke coming up from the training areas telling me that my boys are out there setting the tallgrass prairie afire, I miss being out there with them.

There will be plenty of time left for being a desk jockey.

Craig
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Old 11-13-2009, 12:27 PM
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Default Re: Not sure if I've introduced myself, but hello from flyover country!

Craig- GREAT post.

Tom- there's some great perspective and experience in that post that I'm sure you'll bear in mind--- good luck with your career.

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Old 11-13-2009, 03:08 PM
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Default Re: Not sure if I've introduced myself, but hello from flyover country!

Thanks for the post Craig, I've heard a number of professionals already tell me the first job you get in this field will also be the most fun. I've also seen a number of biologists and professionals burnt out by the workload- mostly paperwork and people-management that they didn't sign up for. Someday I may wind up there, but for now I'm just enjoying gaining more experience and knowledge in the field, wherever that may take me.
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