By: Hannah Seltzer
I decided to check back in with our friend Christine Lambert after her exciting summer with the Pennsylvania Game Commission (PGC). When we last interviewed Christine, she told us about her journey in the conservation and wildlife management major. I wanted to get the amazing details about her internship, how it relates to E360, and showcase some of the incredible opportunities DelVal students can experience.
While Christine earned her E360 credit to graduate, she gained immeasurable experiences and connections within her desired field.
“I learned that people in the wildlife field are incredibly passionate about what they do. I also learned that this field is more about who you know than what you know because connections are very important and can expose you to opportunities you otherwise wouldn’t have heard of,” she said.
Along with discovering the importance of her professional connections, Christine realized that her future career may not be the most financially generous, demonstrating the true passion these professionals have for their career.
With that same passion Christine was able to have what she called “the most hands-on you will get with wildlife, hands down.” She got to work alongside other interns while maintaining a unique role with the commission. The PGC is divided into six regions and Christine was an intern for the southeast region for 10 weeks and remained on their payroll working weekends and remotely until the end of 2021. She worked daily with Bio Aides, Field Technicians, and Wildlife Biologists all under John Morgan, the commission’s Wildlife Management Supervisor. Here is a list of tasks she performed while in this role:
- Trapping and banding several game and non-game birds such as barn owls, American kestrels, Canada geese, and mourning doves.
- Trapping and marking black bears.
- Monitoring bald eagle and osprey nests, and great-blue heron rookeries.
- Extracting tissues from white-tailed deer for Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) testing.
- Conducting habitat assessments around American kestrel nest sites.
- Conducting songbird surveys using point counts.
- Conducting Indiana bat foraging surveys via radiotelemetry.
- Conducting necropsies for baseline research and/or to determine cause of death.
Before her experience this summer, Christine had limited experience with wildlife. As you can see, this internship opened many doors, giving her a sense of the professional and field environments and a confidence boost going into her future career.
Following graduation, Christine plans to take her newfound experiences, and pursue jobs out west. After spending the past 21 years on this side of the country, she is ready to gain experience in other states and in other parts of the country. Since many wildlife jobs are seasonal and part-time, as well as competitive, Christine plans to diversify her resume and gain experience working with different agencies.
“Ultimately, I would like to work with a federal as well as private organization so I can compare and contrast the working environment and benefits with the state agency I spent my time with this past summer,” she said. Beyond the PGC, Christine’s goal is to earn her master’s degree and become a wildlife biologist “where I can be confident my work directly benefits wildlife, conservation efforts, and my agency.”
Thank you for sharing you experiences Christine, all of us here at Full360 wish you the best of luck in all of your future endeavors!