I’ve finally finished up the final report for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) on this trip. It is my hope that this trip gets replicated over and over to fulfill its larger goal of reaching out to as many people as possible.

I’ve spent the last 10 days translating, writing, getting my life ready to head back home, and sleeping at the Tualatin National Wildlife Refuge bunkhouse. It will be good to go back home soon. I’ve fallen in love with Oregon, though, and really hope to come back.
There is a possibility for a bird banding opportunity out here in Oregon. I’m working it out now, but it would bring me back here in August. I think it’s a really great next step for me to get some field research experience – and to get to do it within the world of birds I’m getting swept into would be awesome.

I’ll be getting on a flight in a few hours for Vancouver, just one last stop on this trip. One more presentation and it’s all over. You could probably interpret that last sentence in a hundred different ways.

I’ve been tested pretty hard on this trip. I’ve made mistakes, missed deadlines, forgotten names – but also accomplished some really incredible stuff. The things I’ve learned and reported back to USFWS could make a world of difference in their outreach. I’ve reached out to thousands of people, and been a role model for a thousand more. I’ve coordinated with hundreds of others, kept up with a constantly changing itinerary with Murphy’s Law at every turn, and made a lot of friends in the experience. I’m really proud of myself, and can’t wait to see where I grow next.

Right now, my eyes are set on Oregon.

Christian McWilliams

Christian studied International Conflict Analysis and Resolution at George Mason University with an interest in global environmental conservation, and has lived most of his life between Spain and the United States. Internship experiences during his studies have taken him up and down the East Coast of the US, and had him spend over a year in Mumbai. He enjoys keeping up with global and domestic news, volunteering, and a well made cup of coffee.

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