Friday, October 14, 2011

My Life Aquatic 2011 - Reflections on a Summer Well Spent

With only a couple days left in my summer position with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), I am feeling distinctly bittersweet. It has been an outstanding, exciting, informative and valuable summer. I am sad to say goodbye to all of the wonderful people I have worked with and the fun projects I have worked on. At the same time, I am excited to return to Fairhaven College for my second year to continue my focus on science and education and explore the many opportunities to come. When I started this position, I had hoped to learn more about both field biology and education and perhaps come closer to making a decision about the direction of my education. While I am still officially undecided, I do know that I would like to continue with field and education outreach work. They were challenging, fun and rewarding aspects of my summer position and I enjoyed them both for different reasons.

One of the most beneficial activities Tree, Claire and I took part in this summer was a resume workshop lead by our supervisor. We have been working on updating and re-writing our resumes, including new work experience we’ve gained over the summer and learning more about the appropriate format and structure for this line of work. It’s amazing to see the difference in my resume after this summer; I’ve had the opportunity to do some fantastic things and I’m so glad I got the chance to brainstorm and write about them while they were still fresh in my mind. The finished product is a nicely polished, scientifically focused and diversified resume that I will definitely be using in the future.

Next quarter at Fairhaven I’m taking some really exciting science classes, including an Ornithology and Eco-Restoration class. I’ve never studied ornithology before and I’m looking forward to learning more about bird species of the Northwest. One of the really great things about Fairhaven is that I have the option to design my own concentration or major, so I could potentially create a major combining education and science. Whatever path I choose to meander down in the future, I know that the experience this STEP position has given me will be extremely valuable and useful in continuing to explore my educational interests and career opportunities!

I hope you have enjoyed hearing from Claire, Tree and me this summer and have learned a little about the STEP program and the USFWS. Thanks so much for reading!

--Mara Healy, STEP Fisheries Technician


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