Farancia erytrogramma seminola declared extinct by FWS

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Re: Farancia erytrogramma seminola declared extinct by FWS

Post by hellihooks » November 7th, 2011, 1:03 pm

"That can be the case, but honestly, I think getting a job based on relationships and merit isn't necessarily a bad thing: a lot of people hire because they know the person they're hiring and that they'll be a good employee."

Except that it can lead to nepotism :roll: I would agree that volunteering in the research milieu is a great help in gaining admission to grad programs, and helps you 'get to know' professors... :thumb: jim

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Re: Farancia erytrogramma seminola declared extinct by FWS

Post by Paul White » November 7th, 2011, 1:21 pm

Natalie; difficulty of breaking into it, combined with abysmal pay and (in field work) the irregularity of income all combined to make me realize I'm never going to be a professional herpetologist. I'd love to do zoo work one day but doing field research for a living? Not happening.

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Re: Farancia erytrogramma seminola declared extinct by FWS

Post by hellihooks » November 7th, 2011, 2:01 pm

'biological consultant' is the way to go... if I were 20 yrs younger... :thumb: jim

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Re: Farancia erytrogramma seminola declared extinct by FWS

Post by Josh Holbrook » November 7th, 2011, 2:09 pm

Paul White wrote:Natalie; difficulty of breaking into it, combined with abysmal pay and (in field work) the irregularity of income all combined to make me realize I'm never going to be a professional herpetologist. I'd love to do zoo work one day but doing field research for a living? Not happening.

Gross. Quitting my zoo job (educator) and I'd rather work in the field any day of the week.

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Re: Farancia erytrogramma seminola declared extinct by FWS

Post by Crimson King » November 7th, 2011, 2:54 pm

I had always guessed they are not eel specific but hell, if snook can get to L. Okeechobee, then so can eels, IMO.
Does anyone else hold out the tiniest of hopes that if/when they "restore" the Kissimmee Prairie and 'Glades that there will be open passages for eels to again migrate up the rivers? ...and maybe a glimmer of hope that the one or two rainbows left will have a chance to keep going....
There is a bit of anecdotal evidence of sightings..I know of 3 by a local man in the last 15-20 yrs. but that means little obviously...

:Mark

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Re: Farancia erytrogramma seminola declared extinct by FWS

Post by Lloyd Heilbrunn » November 7th, 2011, 10:25 pm

:thumb:

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Re: Farancia erytrogramma seminola declared extinct by FWS

Post by Paul White » November 8th, 2011, 6:10 pm

Gross. Quitting my zoo job (educator) and I'd rather work in the field any day of the week.
What's gross about my statement? :?:

Yeah, I don't think I could be an educator. I'm just not worth a damn at it--they tried to have me do training and my day job and I botched it to hell and back (NOT looking forward to my WPR). And I can't do talks/presentations worth a damn apparently (I thought I did OK...my bosses didn't). I'd like field stuff. I'd like to be a professional breeder. I'd like to be a field researcher. basically anything that lets me work with herps. It's the one area I feel really remotely competent in :(

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Re: Farancia erytrogramma seminola declared extinct by FWS

Post by Daniel Parker » November 8th, 2011, 6:51 pm

Unfortunately, I fear that the "extinct" tag may be warranted. Maybe "likely extirpated" would be a better term. This is a dubious subspecies at best. Rainbow snakes fitting the description of seminola have popped up in other populations and the sample size was hardly adequate for the basis of a new subspecies. Rainbow snakes are dependent on eels as food. Eels spawn in the ocean. In other areas, rainbow snakes are extirpated upstream of locks and dams where eels can no longer migrate. Populations persist in tidal creeks, salt marshes, and river systems where water flow is uninterrupted to the ocean. Baby rainbow snakes eat tadpoles. Adults are known to take salamanders, but they have refused them as food in captivity when offered. They definitely prefer eels and are behaviorally specialized on preying on them. Reportedly, Fisheating Creek was full of eels at one time. With the alteration of natural water flow, eels are probably not present there anymore and even if I few make it, there are not likely to be enough to support a population of rainbow snakes. Even if rainbow snakes would readily take sirens and amphiumas, there is another snake that specializes on those. Mud snakes are abundant in the general vicinity of Fisheating Creek, if not in the creek itself. It seems unlikely that the rainbow snake could invade the niche of its specialized cousin in that area.

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Re: Farancia erytrogramma seminola declared extinct by FWS

Post by BillMcGighan » November 9th, 2011, 5:32 am

Reality? = The probabilities of a successful hunt are astronomically negative for astronomical good reasons.


To some of us, however, it's the process, not the product!


(Mike's Gimli effect)
It's the hunt that is the herping cake that really worth eating.
If you get the target animal, that's just the frosting on the cake!!!

Sometimes, when it doesn't cause harm, you have to let the right side of your brain drive the car.

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Re: Farancia erytrogramma seminola declared extinct by FWS

Post by Josh Holbrook » November 9th, 2011, 5:35 am

Paul White wrote:
Gross. Quitting my zoo job (educator) and I'd rather work in the field any day of the week.
What's gross about my statement? :?:

Yeah, I don't think I could be an educator. I'm just not worth a damn at it--they tried to have me do training and my day job and I botched it to hell and back (NOT looking forward to my WPR). And I can't do talks/presentations worth a damn apparently (I thought I did OK...my bosses didn't). I'd like field stuff. I'd like to be a professional breeder. I'd like to be a field researcher. basically anything that lets me work with herps. It's the one area I feel really remotely competent in :(
Gross at the whole zoo thing. Working at one cured me of ever wanting to work at one again unless it's a field conservation biology job. Of course that might change someday. . .
Daniel Parker wrote:Unfortunately, I fear that the "extinct" tag may be warranted. Maybe "likely extirpated" would be a better term.
Possibly, but it's scientifically dishonest without an actual statistically significant, concentrated search effort. When I wrote my field guide, I couldn't do it mentally without giving the SF Rainbow Snake one good try. Having given it the good try I think it's worth a better try. :thumb:

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Re: Farancia erytrogramma seminola declared extinct by FWS

Post by Paul White » November 9th, 2011, 6:23 am

I never mindedt he zoo work I've done as a volunteer....even shoveling bison poop wasn't that bad. I will say the politics makes me nervous...I didn't see *too* much of it as a volunteer, but if you read between the lines you could tell it was there...which zoo owned which animal and the offspring from said animal, how to get interesting animals and get rid of ones that the zoo didn't need for any display or educatoinal or conservation purpose. All political apparently :?

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Re: Farancia erytrogramma seminola declared extinct by FWS

Post by Marcus » November 10th, 2011, 6:07 pm

Before we "improved" the Kissimmee-Okeechobee-Everglades system, there was no direct connection to marine waters. It was only after we dug canals in the early 1900s to the Gulf through the Caloosahatchee River and to the Atlantic through the Saint Lucie River that eels were able to get to Lake Okeechobee. The presence of eels in Fisheating Creek is only a relatively recent occurrence, so south Florida rainbow snakes (if they are in fact a separate subspecies) evolved in the absence of eels as prey. Rainbow snakes also occur in isolated wetlands that also lack eels in other parts of the south. So although rainbows certainly like to eat eels, their dependence on them is a bit overrated. The absence of eels does not equal absence of rainbows.

With how difficult it is for good herpers to find rainbows in areas they are well known to be in, I think there is a good chance these snakes are still out there.

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Re: Farancia erytrogramma seminola declared extinct by FWS

Post by ChrisNM » November 10th, 2011, 6:36 pm

hellihooks wrote:Used to be you could get hired as a Zoo Keeper, based on your 'hands on' experience... now... don't even bother applying unless you have at least a BS or MS, and preferably still in school.
Central Fl Zoo had a herp keeper position open that closed last month. Salaried position 40 hr/wk, preferred applicants have a degree in biology or related field, one year paid experience in a zoological setting, venomous husbandry and handling experience, and capable of lifting 60 lbs. When I went from the AZA site over to CFL's site the expanded job posting had a salary of $18,720/yr. 18,720 divided by 26 pay periods a year = 720 divided by 80 hrs = $9. I paid intershiped at the Las Cruces Museum of Natural History from June 2003 to Aug 2005 with a final hourly rate of $8/hr as it was a co-op position between NMSU and the City of Las Cruces. I beat out a PhD and Masters degree to be hired as the Museum Naturalist at LCMNH, starting at $14/hr at 30 hr/wk in Aug 2005, HR approved moving the position to full-time salaried where I went to 15 & change, and left at $18/hr in May 2009 to follow my fiancée to Albuquerque where UNM screwed her over twice on getting into their Biomedical Program as a microbiologist for grad school. LCMNH was a small museum of ~4200 sq ft, of which 2200 sq ft was my Nature Center that contained 39 species of herps and fish native to the Chihuahuan Desert or NM. In 2004 I also did a VERY successful herp survey of Carlsbad Caverns National Park, taking a 3 month leave of abscence from the museum. I figured with those 3 positions of job experience I'd be able to get something in Albuquerque, particularly with my successful experience at the museum. I'd go almost 6 months unemployed (my own fault for not having something lined up when we moved to ABQ) in Albuquerque, taking my padded savings down to $319 the day I was hired at my former place of employment where I did necropsies in an ABSL-3 facility.

Long story short, I LAUGHED and cried when I saw CFL's posting. I'm ashamed of my current place of employment, but a job's a job and I'm trying to make improvements there and for the most part enjoy it. Though right now I just need to grow a d*mn pair of balls, take the GRE, and get my rear into grad school because a bachelor of anything is the new high school diploma. Though sadly, part of my difficulties with unemployment was that with my BS in Bio I'm either under or over qualified. I'll put the violin away.

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Re: Farancia erytrogramma seminola declared extinct by FWS

Post by Paul White » November 10th, 2011, 7:03 pm

You're one up on this college dropout :p


I've tried to get into welding via courses at the local juco but they never make :( I want a frigging trade of some sort.

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Re: Farancia erytrogramma seminola declared extinct by FWS

Post by Josh Holbrook » November 10th, 2011, 7:34 pm

ChrisNM wrote: a bachelor of anything is the new high school diploma.
True :-/

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Re: Farancia erytrogramma seminola declared extinct by FWS

Post by jimoo742 » November 10th, 2011, 7:37 pm

Sadly, if they are Anguilla dependent or even mostly dependent, things are tough as eel populations of both European and American Eels are way down. Would love to be a part, but like many that have done fieldwork (and loved it), I just couldn't make a living.

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Re: Farancia erytrogramma seminola declared extinct by FWS

Post by Shane_TX » November 10th, 2011, 9:47 pm

Count me in! However, I agree with Jason B......follow the path of the Extant Eel. That journey is interesting enough in its own light.

I'll consider the first year's fieldwork an introduction to eels in the region.....interesting no doubt.

Shane

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Re: Farancia erytrogramma seminola declared extinct by FWS

Post by jonathan » November 11th, 2011, 1:42 am

lashinala2 wrote:"The Florida fairy shrimp was known from a single pond just south of Gainesville. The pond was destroyed by development, and the species hasn’t been detected elsewhere."

Would it kill them to develop somewhere other than the one pond? Really?
Believe it or not, the last verified population of Ivory-billed Woodpeckers was eliminated when the Chicago Mill and Lumber Company clearcut the entire track of old growth forest they lived in. Four governors wrote to the company asking them to spare the track, but pre-EPA, they didn't have to listen at all.

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Re: Farancia erytrogramma seminola declared extinct by FWS

Post by hellihooks » November 11th, 2011, 6:55 am

ChrisNM wrote: Though right now I just need to grow a d*mn pair of balls, take the GRE, and get my rear into grad school because a bachelor of anything is the new high school diploma. Though sadly, part of my difficulties with unemployment was that with my BS in Bio I'm either under or over qualified. I'll put the violin away.
I know that tune, all to well. My problem is... I'm old...Comparitivly speaking. Also, the grad program I had applied for was very competitive...200 applicants for 10 spots. And due to major cutbacks in Ed in Ca, they went from 2 offerings a year to 1. BUT... I was told (off the record) that my age was the main reason I didn't get in. They would rather invest in a 24 yr old than a 54 yr old. My plan is now to start over and study molecular biology, towards eventually conducting venom research... Appearantly 'old age' is actually a plus... if you get tagged and die, working with hots... well... you were old already... :crazyeyes: :roll: :lol: :lol: jim

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Re: Farancia erytrogramma seminola declared extinct by FWS

Post by Daniel D Dye » November 11th, 2011, 7:06 am

hellihooks wrote:
ChrisNM wrote: My plan is now to start over and study molecular biology, towards eventually conducting venom research... Appearantly 'old age' is actually a plus... if you get tagged and die, working with hots... well... you were old already... :crazyeyes: :roll: :lol: :lol: jim
That's terrible...but, I can relate. :lol: :lol: :beer:

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Re: Farancia erytrogramma seminola declared extinct by FWS

Post by umop apisdn » November 12th, 2011, 9:18 am

this is the dead season for field work
I digress just to nitpick, but I hate it when people say that. Truth is, there is never a dead season in the southeast. There is always something available for data. True, if it's Farancia in particular we're talking about here, it could be pretty damn difficult to turn them up over the winter...especially a subspecies now declared extinct. But if you're going to declare fall and winter dead seasons, you've got a pretty lame excuse not to get out and herp in the cold. It's the only season you've got high likelihood of certain species (though a lot does spill into spring).

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Re: Farancia erytrogramma seminola declared extinct by FWS

Post by Josh Holbrook » November 12th, 2011, 10:14 am

umop apisdn wrote:
this is the dead season for field work
I digress just to nitpick, but I hate it when people say that. Truth is, there is never a dead season in the southeast. There is always something available for data. True, if it's Farancia in particular we're talking about here, it could be pretty damn difficult to turn them up over the winter...especially a subspecies now declared extinct. But if you're going to declare fall and winter dead seasons, you've got a pretty lame excuse not to get out and herp in the cold. It's the only season you've got high likelihood of certain species (though a lot does spill into spring).

I believe he was talking about field job availability, which it is - there's a lot more field jobs available over the summer.

Edit: typo

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Re: Farancia erytrogramma seminola declared extinct by FWS

Post by stlouisdude » November 12th, 2011, 11:29 am

Seems to me that there are a lot of people deeply interested in snakes, but for whom the time and cost of schooling is not practical. There must be some way to pool those resources together and do more good than having a couple hundred more people deeply in debt and jobless lol

It seems like we may have the ability to create some jobs, though. Looks like eco tourism for snakes is one such avenue. Do you think we will ever have an important snake area program? I know of roads with very high road kill counts on small stretches. It seems like this is something that a handful of interested individuals could figure out with a highway department.

Not that I am against anyone pursuing the obvious path of education, but I'd hate to think of wasting resources while the populations of snakes disappear.

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Re: Farancia erytrogramma seminola declared extinct by FWS

Post by klawnskale » November 12th, 2011, 11:50 am

I know that tune, all to well. My problem is... I'm old...Comparitivly speaking. Also, the grad program I had applied for was very competitive...200 applicants for 10 spots. And due to major cutbacks in Ed in Ca, they went from 2 offerings a year to 1. BUT... I was told (off the record) that my age was the main reason I didn't get in. They would rather invest in a 24 yr old than a 54 yr old. My plan is now to start over and study molecular biology, towards eventually conducting venom research... Appearantly 'old age' is actually a plus... if you get tagged and die, working with hots... well... you were old already... :crazyeyes: :roll: :lol: :lol: jim[/quote]

Helli: I have been very fortunate over the past two years to acquire field work that I am enjoying IMMENSELY; and gaining new knowledge and learning techniques that can make me more marketable. Yes; age can certainly be an obstacle. I could say I don't look my age (56) , but since most of the interviews I've had for jobs have been over the phone, the hiring parties are at first not aware. Ofcourse I don't mention my age on my resume and to discriminate because of it as you know is illegal. Last couple of jobs most of the field techs were more than half my age and were shocked to find out just how old I was. I do have a bachelor's degree but not in biology. And what i found that is really sweet is when my younger coworkers all encourage me to go back to school to get my graduate degree (wish I could financially pull this off, but salary takes priority). It's fun working with younger people. I learn from them and they learn a trick or two from an old salt like me (like how to get a vehicle unstuck out of a thick muddy playa). So, Natalie, if you're reading this. Don't be discouraged. I started out by volunteering on some state f&g surveys and put that on my resume. They like to see that!

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Re: Farancia erytrogramma seminola declared extinct by FWS

Post by chris_mcmartin » November 13th, 2011, 3:31 am

ChrisNM wrote:When I went from the AZA site over to CFL's site the expanded job posting had a salary of $18,720/yr. 18,720 divided by 26 pay periods a year = 720 divided by 80 hrs = $9.
Why would ANYBODY knowingly go tens of thousands of dollars into debt, to get a specific degree for the proverbial "job you love," without hope of either paying back the debt in a reasonable amount of time, or enjoying the increased disposable income a higher education promises? College degrees are more and more a scam every day...what other industry advises parents to borrow against the value of their home so their kids can partake of the industry's product, claiming that the kids will make more money, to put THEIR kids through college?

Can one make a counteroffer to CFL--i.e. "I don't have a degree in that field, but I'll accept your salaried position?" Are there lots of degreed, paid-experienced individuals clamoring for such jobs?

I sympathize with stlouisdude's reply, in that I think research entities need to leverage the collective power of the citizen-scientists among us--people who can provide the sweat equity to go out and survey spots and conduct other field research where a degree isn't necessarily a prerequisite for putting in hard work and contributing to the cause.

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Re: Farancia erytrogramma seminola declared extinct by FWS

Post by jonathan » November 13th, 2011, 8:43 am

chris_mcmartin wrote:College degrees are more and more a scam every day...what other industry advises parents to borrow against the value of their home so their kids can partake of the industry's product, claiming that the kids will make more money, to put THEIR kids through college?
I'm not disagreeing with any of your other points, but study after study has shown that college degrees far more than pay back for themselves. Of course, some fields are more difficult than others, but my dad's a zookeeper and his state college degree was paid off in very little time.

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Re: Farancia erytrogramma seminola declared extinct by FWS

Post by Josh Holbrook » November 13th, 2011, 9:30 am

jonathan wrote:
chris_mcmartin wrote:College degrees are more and more a scam every day...what other industry advises parents to borrow against the value of their home so their kids can partake of the industry's product, claiming that the kids will make more money, to put THEIR kids through college?
I'm not disagreeing with any of your other points, but study after study has shown that college degrees far more than pay back for themselves. Of course, some fields are more difficult than others, but my dad's a zookeeper and his state college degree was paid off in very little time.

I Agree. For my education and experience my current zoo job pays crap; that said, it is still a livable salary with enough left over to pay debt if one is disciplined. It does piss me off a little bit that one the secretary jobs they posted at our zoo last year paid over double my salary without a required degree: but no one forced me to take my job at that salary.

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Re: Farancia erytrogramma seminola declared extinct by FWS

Post by Daryl Eby » November 13th, 2011, 9:54 am

Josh Holbrook wrote:It does piss me off a little bit that one the secretary jobs they posted at our zoo last year paid over double my salary without a required degree
That has to be a frustrating. Then again, I seriously doubt that many the kids passing through your zoo are dreaming of becoming a secretary.
but no one forced me to take my job at that salary.
Exactly -and that's a great attitude. You're living the dream that most of us had to abandon. Riches or not, you're a very fortunate man.

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Re: Farancia erytrogramma seminola declared extinct by FWS

Post by jonathan » November 13th, 2011, 10:51 am

John Vanek wrote:I grew up poor, so I guess I don't know what I am missing. I work in the field, so I don't come home hating my life. In fact, I wake up each morning looking forward to work. Sure, sometimes it sucks to not have the newest Xbox game, but who cares? I've had other jobs that pay more (construction, salesperson, retail), but I hated going to work.

Getting paid to do what you love is incredible.
:thumb:

That's a big part of life right there.

The average student at my college makes $64,000 their first year and $121,000 mid-career (that's for students who don't go past a B.S.). I graduated with honors and got an M.A. after that, but have taken jobs that paid far less and am making virtually nothing right now. I would never want to go back. College opened up my options like crazy, but the option to do what you love is far better than the option to make a ton of money.

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Re: Farancia erytrogramma seminola declared extinct by FWS

Post by mfb » November 13th, 2011, 1:48 pm

Natalie McNear wrote: I went to UC Davis for a year, and most of the professors wouldn't even talk to undergraduates, and acted like doing a lecture was some sort of punishment (that was a main reason why I left and went to community college).
I'm sorry to hear that you did not have a good experience at UC Davis. However, for others reading this thread who may want to apply to UCD to earn an undergraduate degree, I wanted to offer a different perspective. I was at UCD for graduate school from '99 to '05. Most of the professors in EVE, WFCB, and SNRE had undergraduates working in the labs. In some cases, there were more undergrads than grad students. Most faculty, including my doctoral advisor, were extremely enthusiastic about having undergrads do research in their labs. There were also specific classes designed to provide undergraduates with experience in how to conduct ecological research. Many of the undergrads that I knew at UCD who got lab experience there have gone on to various careers in different aspects of environmental biology.

The job market is quite tough now, and I wish you the best in finding a job.

Mike

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Re: Farancia erytrogramma seminola declared extinct by FWS

Post by Chad M. Lane » November 13th, 2011, 6:52 pm

I'm just a lowly biology student trying to find work during a semester I have off (I'm finishing up at my community college, then in the fall semester 2012 I'm going to a university). I've applied for lots of jobs on the TAMU Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences job board, but I haven't heard back from any of them presumably because I don't have much "official" experience, and there are tons of other people applying for those same jobs that are more qualified than me because they already have a piece of paper that says they're educated. But how can I get that necessary experience if no one will hire me?
Though I'm not official either, I can vouch for Natalie and firmly say she most likely knows more about herping, biology, among other fauna than then some of the people writing the papers!



Cheers,
Chad

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Re: Farancia erytrogramma seminola declared extinct by FWS

Post by Natalie McNear » November 13th, 2011, 7:17 pm

LOL Chad! I wouldn't go so far as to say I know more than the people writing the papers. But I do have a lot of field experience, probably more than a lot of the people who are getting hired for the jobs. However, I don't have radio-telemetry experience yet, and that seems to be the big deciding factor.

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Re: Farancia erytrogramma seminola declared extinct by FWS

Post by Mike VanValen » November 13th, 2011, 7:42 pm

It's sad and frustrating that there aren't positions available for those of us who have no degree, but most likely have the same level of knowledge through a lifetime of study. (And in some cases we have more knowledge).

I suppose there are positions out there, but they are few and far between.

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Re: Farancia erytrogramma seminola declared extinct by FWS

Post by Chad M. Lane » November 13th, 2011, 8:05 pm

Ok I may have been a bit on the extreme side. I can say this chick can out herp 99% of the herpers I've been out with. To top that off she's an awesome bugger at least with CA natives, and birder as well. We'd be driving somewhere, and yell out some random bird species that she just seen, that I didn't see nor even heard of.

She's also really good at figuring out species while still thinking outside the box and not just getting stuck into a single mindset.



Cheers,
Chad

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Re: Farancia erytrogramma seminola declared extinct by FWS

Post by Natalie McNear » November 13th, 2011, 10:26 pm

I never said I wanted or was looking for a job that was "just searching for herps". In fact, most of the jobs and internships I've applied for don't involve herps at all. But when there's a job listing that says something like "Applicants with familiarity of [insert group of organisms] in [insert part of country] preferred", a good amount of the time, I have that familiarity and have people who can vouch for me if need be. The problem is, the majority of employers only want three references, when I could and would like to put a lot more to make up for my lack of professional experience. I have participated in insect and herpetological surveys, but none of them were long-term, so I guess they don't count for anything. You've been incredibly lucky you were surrounded by people doing all sorts of studies with whom you could volunteer and network - many people weren't so lucky, as you've read in this thread. And for those of us who haven't been able to make those connections early on, it seems like it's nearly impossible to break into this type of work. The bottom line is, how am I supposed to learn radio-telemetry and constructing pitfall traps if no one's willing to teach me? I'm not even asking to get paid for it! A lot of the things I've been applying for are unpaid internships or gigs where I only receive a small stipend for full-time work. All I'm asking for is an opportunity.

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Re: Farancia erytrogramma seminola declared extinct by FWS

Post by chris_mcmartin » November 14th, 2011, 2:18 am

jonathan wrote:
chris_mcmartin wrote:College degrees are more and more a scam every day...what other industry advises parents to borrow against the value of their home so their kids can partake of the industry's product, claiming that the kids will make more money, to put THEIR kids through college?
I'm not disagreeing with any of your other points, but study after study has shown that college degrees far more than pay back for themselves. Of course, some fields are more difficult than others, but my dad's a zookeeper and his state college degree was paid off in very little time.
There's an awful lot of people with degrees waiting tables, too...perhaps because they got irrelevant degrees, and spent 5-6 years getting them..."finding themselves" while the parents foot the bill...etc. I'm just not a believer in the "you OWE it to your kid, and oh by the way college tuition hikes far outpace inflation" mentality. A degree is being used as a discriminator for far more jobs than warranted.

But I digress (as per usual)...F.e.seminola being declared extinct? I thought the trend was away from subspecies? :shock:

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Re: Farancia erytrogramma seminola declared extinct by FWS

Post by Paul White » November 14th, 2011, 6:39 am

Chris McMartin; my wife is a case in point. biology degree with a decent GPA, and is renting cars for a living :(

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Re: Farancia erytrogramma seminola declared extinct by FWS

Post by Lloyd Heilbrunn » November 14th, 2011, 7:33 am

I gave up on my Bio degree 35 years ago due to lack of attractive jobs.

It appears nothing has changed.

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Re: Farancia erytrogramma seminola declared extinct by FWS

Post by Cole Grover » November 14th, 2011, 7:48 am

Those of you looking for jobs:

Have you tried any of the many consulting firms out there? There are literally hundreds of them. The work they do is varied and often consists of sub-contract work for various government agencies. They typically pay MUCH better than a comperable position at said government agencies, too... Some firms specialize in biological assessments, others in habitat/ecological restoration, others in chemical clean-up and mitigation. Had I not been introduced to the often quiet but large and active environmental consulting side of things, I'd probably still be looking for a job or working as a lab tech for half of my current salary. Check it out. Things aren't as bleak as you might think - you've just gotta know where to look. True, your work may or may not revolve around herps at any given firm, but a strong background in science (biology, chemistry, geology) goes a long way to ensure that you'll have an engaging career.

In essence, a biology degree is incredibly valuable. If you're willing to compromise a little and not necessarily work with herps full-time, there are plenty of jobs out there geared toward biology majors. Getting a degree in biology was one of the best decisions I've ever made.

-Cole

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Re: Farancia erytrogramma seminola declared extinct by FWS

Post by klawnskale » November 14th, 2011, 8:07 am

The problem is, the majority of employers only want three references, when I could and would like to put a lot more to make up for my lack of professional experience. I have participated in insect and herpetological surveys, but none of them were long-term, so I guess they don't count for anything.

Natalie: I think you are inclined to sell yourself short. Whatever field projects you engaged in, volunteer or otherwise counts. If I were you, i would definitely include those experiences in your resume. If you are still able to contact the supervisory people on the surveys, request if you can use them as a reference on your resume. It would be silly not to. Perhaps your overall resume is in need of reworking. About 50% of getting hired is knowing how to 'sell' yourself as a beneficial asset to the employer. I learned this through decades of professional experience in other fields. Because of knowing how to present an effective resume, I have been able to get to the point of an interview at least 50% of the times I apply. I may not always get hired, but at least the interest is sparked as a potential candidate. There are professional 'career advisors' who actually charge clients for the type of information I just posted for you, which I think is so absolutely ridiculous, but you have to realize, regardless of the profession you pursue, learning to market yourself, and then being able to prove your abilities is what the hiring game is about. And BTW, this common sense information relates to ANYONE else here that has been applying for work. Granted, it is tougher right now due to an economic recession, resume makeovers are a very cost effective way of helping you along.

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Re: Farancia erytrogramma seminola declared extinct by FWS

Post by jonathan » November 14th, 2011, 8:35 am

Natalie McNear wrote:The bottom line is, how am I supposed to learn radio-telemetry and constructing pitfall traps if no one's willing to teach me? I'm not even asking to get paid for it! A lot of the things I've been applying for are unpaid internships or gigs where I only receive a small stipend for full-time work. All I'm asking for is an opportunity.
Just using my dad as an example again, he worked three straight summers as an undergrad at the University of Idaho. He studied snakes in the field as a work-study job with a Ph.D. candidate, assisting with surveying, trap-building and checking, tracking with tantalum tags, and various other field tech jobs. His only qualifications beforehand were his amateur experiences with herps and his coursework as a student at the college. When he graduated he had a degree in wildlife management, three years of experience with field skills, and a very good reference (and was marrying the park ranger :beer:). So the best path might be to work towards a degree at the right college that will give you opportunities with skilled field experience.

Personally, I was able to take part in extensive research experience while I was an undergrad (programming and testing a cutting-edge optical coherence microscope in collaboration with Harvey Mudd College, Caltech, and Colorado State, collecting, culturing and characterizing anti-bacterial resistant bacteria for a project I designed myself, field and lab study of a magnetotatic bacterium in collaboration with NASA). For that last project our four-person team was given a $40,000 budget to use to buy equipment at our own discretion, which we used mostly to purchase an awesome anaerobic chamber. The only experience required for those positions was my coursework at the college.

I'm not saying that college is the answer for everyone. But it can open up a lot of doors. I didn't have much money growing up, but there is a lot of need-based financial aid out there and I was able to go to an elite private school and only pay about $4,500 out of pocket each year, which I was easily able to make working summers and some nights. I graduated with about $26,000 in debt, which was less than it could have been because of a few academic scholarships I got, but even without them I could have paid off the scholarships easily. If you work in the public sector there are loan-forgiveness programs to help too.

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Re: Farancia erytrogramma seminola declared extinct by FWS

Post by chrish » November 14th, 2011, 8:50 am

jonathan wrote:College opened up my options like crazy, but the option to do what you love is far better than the option to make a ton of money.
Bingo. College degrees don't guarantee you a job. And there really aren't that many paying gigs working with herps and most of those don't pay very well because society doesn't pay for that.

But as I tell my students every day, one day a bus runs you over (OK, maybe not a bus)....and as you lay there dying on the pavement you don't think "I hated my job, but at least I have a lot of money in the bank", you think "I'm glad I did something I loved". I love my job (most of the time). I could double my salary by going into industry or becoming some high tech, uber-competitive research professor in a medical field. But I would be miserable and have a lot less time off.

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Re: Farancia erytrogramma seminola declared extinct by FWS

Post by Cole Grover » November 14th, 2011, 8:57 am

jonathan wrote:I'm not saying that college is the answer for everyone. But it can open up a lot of doors.
Totally. I'd also like to point out that grades matter. Get good grades - study hard, even if it means having to miss out on Wednesday Night Beer Pong. I managed to graduate with exactly $0.00 in student loan debt. Between scholarships and work, I was able to pay my tuition and afford to live (...though it was on cheap beer and Top Ramen).

-Cole

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Re: Farancia erytrogramma seminola declared extinct by FWS

Post by hellihooks » November 14th, 2011, 9:02 am

I have some experience with pit traps... as a commercial collector back in the 70's... :roll: Wonder how that would look on an application... :roll: :lol: :lol:
I pulled a $52,000 'Parent Plus' loan for my daughter to go to college... she's pulling straight A's, and will finish at least 6 months early, (so she'll have less to pay back)... and will probably step right into a $60,000 a year job, upon graduating.
Although I like lab work, and would like to do research... I also really like the idea of field work... and though I'm 54, I know very few people who can herp longer or harder than me... Fundad, M. Waters, Teel (for sure... guy's a maniac)... but most kids nowadays are just too 'soft'. :roll: :lol: :lol: jim
(not Natalie though... she kicks ass, as does Chad) :D

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Re: Farancia erytrogramma seminola declared extinct by FWS

Post by klawnskale » November 14th, 2011, 9:03 am

I'm not saying that college is the answer for everyone. But it can open up a lot of doors.

So how does this relate to someone having a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree getting hired for scientific field survey work? I don't lie about that on my resume. College is NOT the answer right now for alot of people. The economic climate does not guarantee college degrees will get you hired. I think of the plight of all the grads right now hit with huge debts from utilizing college loans and are not able to pay those off because they can't find a job. And even if you apply for Chapter 11 or 12, the government will NOT absolve you of college loan debt. Granted, state and city colleges are alot less expensive than private universities, but who wants to be saddled with that right now when the job market is so competitive and depressed? Most financial advisors DO NOT advocate right now returning to college to pursue a degree as a strategy to increase the chances of employment in a depressed job market. Why? Because the jobs just aren't there. If you're going to pursue a degree your best bet would be in some technical related profession: IT, Data Management, Defense, Energy. Right now there's a high demand for technicians/drivers/biological monitors in oil/gas fracking projects in North and South Dakota. Wyoming and Colorado.(ofcourse my ecological inclinations do not mean I support this). Solar Projects in the Mojave Desert are looking for biological monitors for construction mitigation. Those industries are hiring.
I am evaluating this issue with a pragmatic standpoint.

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Re: Farancia erytrogramma seminola declared extinct by FWS

Post by klawnskale » November 14th, 2011, 9:08 am

[quote="hellihooks"]I have some experience with pit traps... as a commercial collector back in the 70's... :roll: Wonder how that would look on an application... :roll: :lol: :lol:

Helli: you wouldn't include that on your resume because it reveals your age and the experience is from too long ago anyway. Resume experience shouldn't go back more than 5-10 years.

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Re: Farancia erytrogramma seminola declared extinct by FWS

Post by ErikNM » November 14th, 2011, 9:29 am

I remember a post on here years back...someone had asked what a good school to go to would be if he wanted a career in herpetology. Many different answers and advice ensued. Someone eventually replied "I, too, wanted to get a career in herpetology. I searched for schools that offered that. (long story short) I got a degree and a job in something totally unrelated, but now have a ton of vacation to use and a lot more money to get time off and afford the herping trips I want. They are more enjoyable when I get to plan my own herping trips instead of being told what I need to look for, etc"

I love field herping. I now have a job that (usually) offers a lot of time off and pays very well. It has allowed me to take off and afford extended periods of time in AZ, TX, FL, and most recently Mexico to do what I love. At my last job, I used my photography as supplemental income. I did family photos and weddings, etc for extra cash. I started dreading to wedding photos, group photos, event photography etc...I just didn't like that kind of photography. Now I can take on assignments that interest me and turn others down since I don't necessarily need the extra income.

Just another way to look at it...

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Re: Farancia erytrogramma seminola declared extinct by FWS

Post by jonathan » November 14th, 2011, 11:43 am

klawnskale wrote:I'm not saying that college is the answer for everyone. But it can open up a lot of doors.

So how does this relate to someone having a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree getting hired for scientific field survey work? I don't lie about that on my resume. College is NOT the answer right now for alot of people.
How does "getting a Bachelor of Fine Arts is clearly not the best idea if you want to do scientific field surveys" translate into "college is NOT the answer"?

Isn't a more logical answer, "Get a more applicable degree, at an institution where you can take advantage of opportunities to get field experience"?

klawnskale wrote:I think of the plight of all the grads right now hit with huge debts from utilizing college loans and are not able to pay those off because they can't find a job. And even if you apply for Chapter 11 or 12, the government will NOT absolve you of college loan debt.
Then just do Americorps for a couple years - you can put off the loans for that entire period, interest-free, and they'll give you about $10,000 towards them at the end of two years. At the end of that time you'll have a new job market, a good resume item (shows you're willing to do service and that you are a good worker), more time to reflect on what you want to do, and less to pay off in loans. It's not the worst thing in the world. I had one friend do BLM work the entire year, and another work on an ecologically-friendly experimental farm, and I've had others teach science. Some Americorps jobs even involve direct environmental work. And almost everyone I know with a college degree who has applied to Americorps has been able to get some position somewhere, as long as they kept looking.

If you're worried about a depressed job market, then I don't think putting off employment for 4 to 6 years, then coming back with significantly more qualifications, is such a dismissable strategy.

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Re: Farancia erytrogramma seminola declared extinct by FWS

Post by klawnskale » November 14th, 2011, 1:36 pm

If you're worried about a depressed job market, then I don't think putting off employment for 4 to 6 years, then coming back with significantly more qualifications, is such a dismissable strategy.[/quote]

I guess if you have dispoable income to cover your need to survive while you go to school this is feasible. Or if mommy and daddy are still supporting you and you can live at home as a slacker for that period of time. As stated above, many young people do not have the luxury of being a student without having to worry about paying bills; or have enough personal savings socked away to cover themselves for 4-6 years while they are accruing more debt in the process.

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Re: Farancia erytrogramma seminola declared extinct by FWS

Post by jonathan » November 14th, 2011, 4:41 pm

If you're worried about a depressed job market, then I don't think putting off employment for 4 to 6 years, then coming back with significantly more qualifications, is such a dismissable strategy.
klawnskale wrote:I guess if you have dispoable income to cover your need to survive while you go to school this is feasible. Or if mommy and daddy are still supporting you and you can live at home as a slacker for that period of time. As stated above, many young people do not have the luxury of being a student without having to worry about paying bills; or have enough personal savings socked away to cover themselves for 4-6 years while they are accruing more debt in the process.
I had little help from my parents (none at all after freshman year) and had less than $2,000 saved when I went to college. I went to an expensive private school, lived on campus with the campus meal plan for 3 of those years, and was 1000 miles from my parents. Any need-based financial aid package includes room and board, and any citizen can apply for financial aid when they go to college. The financial aid package will cover all your financial need, in a combination of government grants and loans. Both myself and my father were of little financial means when we went to college, and we made it through just fine. I taught in the inner city for five years, and I never once met a student who couldn't afford to go to college unless they had to support their family.

That brings up the big issue - it's somewhat more difficult to take the time away to pay for college (and to qualify for financial aid) after you have a family to worry about. When you're young and single, it's much less difficult.

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