Meeting Minutes 9/29/15

Tonight's meeting was a lot of laughs with Cohen's great presentation!

However, to start the meeting off, we talked about trips we've taken since the last meeting; PA Elk Trip and Duck Banding at Montezuma. Pictures of both are on our Instagram and the FB page. Then we talked about possible trips:
  • Page Wildlife Rehab is this Friday at 1 p.m. but this trip is now FULL!
  • We are planning for a trip to Wolf Mountain Nature Center on either 10/18 or 10/25. Both are Sundays and it will be a day trip. 
  • Saw Whet Owl Banding is in the works but be aware it will be LATE NOTICE. We will be notified for this trip either the day of or the day before so look out for that e-mail.
  • We are planning to have a Deer Aging Workshop which will either be on a Sunday or Saturday. You will need to take this workshop in order to help out with our future Deer Track Station trip to Montezuma.
Next was Dr. Cohen's presentation. Here are some summarized Words of Wisdom he imparted on us:
  1. You can start out your educational career not knowing what to do and still find success.
  2. When looking into grad schools, find a program you're interested in and ask a professor in that department if there's availability.
  3. Also, when looking into grad schools, find an adviser with a lot of money. 
  4. Go to conferences and network because you can get hired by people who attend, either at that conference or later in life.
  5. As a post-doc, your entire salary is paid on grants but the idea is you have to keep those grants and probably ask for more. 
  6. You can't just jump into a permanent job; you'll have to start out as a seasonal technician most likely. The best path to a permanent job is through a state agency like DEC or through a federal agency. If you're aiming for a government job, you should take the civil service exam.
  7. If you want to make a lot of money out of grad school, stats as a minor would be a good idea.
Summary of Cohen's presentation, Stumbling Into Success:
Jonathan Cohen grew up in suburbia with the least outdoorsy family and started out by bird watching and watching Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom. He went to Cornell and majored in natural resources because he wasn't quite sure what to do. He went through a few jobs after college, one at a nature center and the other setting up mist nets but he decided to get a Masters degree and applied to UCONN. For his Masters, he studied Greater Scaup for contaminants. He went to a conference in San Francisco to discuss this work and from this, was hired by a toxicologist. Under the toxicologist he studied lead exposure in Black-Capped Night Heron but later found that he didn't want to continue this work due to its more gory tasks. He then began to take an interest in wildlife conservation and decided to pursue a Ph.D. in fisheries and wildlife sciences at Virginia Tech studying piping plover reproduction and survival.  As a post-doc he continued this work and focused his studies on Red Knots. However, he eventually decided that he needed a more permanent job and to his surprise was hired after applying for a position at ESF. Dr. Cohen now works here teaching the capstone class for the Wildlife Science major and got to diversify his studies through the research he does with graduate students.

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