Last week we helped with setting up the Anchorage International Migratory Bird Day (IMBD) event at the Alaska Zoo. It was super fun! It’s always great when you can be part of an event where different organizations working on bird conservation come together to spread the message as one voice. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), bird treatment and care centers, Audubon Society, artists, local community initiatives, breweries, wineries, and many others were stationed around the Zoo, offering games and information for the public. After participating in this IMBD event, we are now in Portland wrapping up our project and presenting this amazing trip to USFWS staff from Pacific Region. The Regional office is pretty excited about our project, and it seems they are looking forward to continuing the Pacific Flyway Ambassadors, a.k.a. “BirdTrippers,” as well as expanding it to other Flyways in the U.S.
This experience has really changed my life. In the months before starting the project, I was so stressed taking standardized tests applying for grad school and jobs that at some point I forgot the reason I was doing it. This trip reconnected me with the true reason I want to work on conservation and the outdoors. Meeting so many people that are successful working for the environment, wildlife, and conservation in general re-motivated me to continue my path.
I can’t express through words how grateful I am to Environment for the Americas, USFWS, Audubon Society, Forest Service and the many other partners and people that made this one of the best experiences of my life.
Now I am heading to Edmonton, Canada, to continue graduate studies in Forest Biology and Management. Although I won’t be working directly with birds, I’ll be making sure they have a place to nest and spend their spring and summer!