My dad says I should write a blog post about how many jobs I’ve had in the past six months, and he’s certainly had worse ideas – so here is a snapshot of six months in the working life of a zoologish (warning: does not contain much zoology).
I realise that over the past few weeks I have been waiting until I have a ‘proper job’ or ‘something exciting’ sorted out before writing a post, but that actually goes against the ethos behind this blog. As we’re all aware, getting into research and conservation is incredibly challenging, and we all still need to earn money and have lives in the interim. So this is what mine looks like at the moment.
We said goodbye to J a week ago, which really started to feel like the beginning of the end of our time here. This week we’ve had three pretty successful ocean days, including catching an adult male hawksbill to set our second satellite tracker on.
This week has flown by, with a lot of new and different experiences including putting a satellite tracker on a turtle and an intense three-day seagrass survey.
As strange as it is, I am already halfway through my time with LAST. It is getting quieter as it becomes the low season here, but we have still had plenty turtles this week. The low volunteer numbers also mean it is time to do some seagrass sampling soon, which I’m excited about.
Yesterday marked the end of my first week at the Latin American Sea Turtles (LAST) Osa project. I’ve already learned a lot and have a much better idea of what the next nine weeks of my life are going to look like!
In a couple of days I start my new position as a research assistant for Latin American Sea Turtles (LAST) on their Osa project, so watch this space for loads of info about that. I’m definitely not the all-work-no-play type, so I’ve begun my trip to Costa Rica with two weeks of travelling in the north-west of the country.
Costa Rica takes conservation and wildlife extremely seriously, and I’ve really enjoyed getting to have incredible guilt-free encounters with so much of the wildlife here.
I’m sure when the Customs agent in Costa Rica asked what my occupation was, he wasn’t expecting me to freeze in much the same way you do when a distant relative asks you what you want to do with your life, stammering “I’m not- I don’t-“, oh dear. Later in the taxi, the driver asked if I was a biologist, and I said yes because my Spanish isn’t up to explaining the complexities of that situation.
Last week I had the great pleasure of attending the ASAB (Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour) Easter Conference at Plymouth University. It was a welcome break from job hunting and a chance to meet some really interesting people who are shaping the field of behavioural research.
The highlight of this week was getting to ‘jump’ three grey seals when they needed to be chipped. James Bond, Blinky and Bular have now all been moved to Bi-Bu, and I didn’t make a total idiot of myself catching them. Success all round!