However, required field work related to classwork is only a small taste of
what is really necessary. I can remember spending much of my free time in
the field working on plant, bird, etc. identification. I volunteered to
work for graduate students just to gain extra field experience. While the
business majors were honing their golf game, I spent hundreds of hours in
the field with nothing in return except knowledge, experience and the
occasional 6-pack of Point Bock beer just for helping out! So many of the
students that come to me today looking for career guidance are appalled by
the idea of giving up their weekends and school breaks to gain experience
for no pay! I'm afraid that they think that they can learn everything that
they need to know from books and the internet.
To anyone out there looking to go to school and wants a field education, be
sure to ask about the university's field facilities and check into the
background of the professors. That will give you an idea of how field
oriented they are.
Fort Worth Nature Center & Refuge
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Bruce Stallsmith
> Sent: Wednesday, February 20, 2002 8:34 PM
> To: nanfa_at_aquaria.net
> Subject: Re: NANFA-- reply from non-list member
> Liz is absolutely on the money, which is a sad fact. I have a
> student who works for me as a laboratory teaching assistant
> in our freshman
> biology labs. She came to us with a B.S. in plant ecology
> from U.Cal. San
> Francisco, a good school, but was totally unable to use a
> microscope (quite
> literally!). Her plant ID skills were poor... What the hey?
> This was all the
> result of NO FIELDWORK. And this is certainly the trend of late.
> --Bruce Stallsmith
> Huntsville, AL, US of A
> >I forwarded some posts to a non-list member. She asked me
> to send her
> >comments to the list.
> >Chuck Church
> >Indianapolis, Indiana USA
> > >> Which isn't to say that Gene doesn't know anything about
> >ichthyology..... merely that it's not his principal pursuit.>>
> >Yes, when I went to grad school in ecology I was floored to
> discover that a
> >good number of my fellow grad students were not naturalists.
> How did they
> >*get* there if they weren't into nature?? I wondered. My advisor
> >distinguished between people interested in critters and
> people interested
> >in processes (he is the first kind). The first kind of
> person wants to
> >know about fish ecology, population dynamics, evolution,
> behavior, etc.
> >because s/he wants to understand fish better. The second
> kind of person
> >thinks a fish is a useful example of some abstract process, like the
> >evolution of sexual selection or physiological adaptation to saline
> >environments. The worst type of people - *YAWN* - are
> those who are just
> >interested in what genes do. You can't even SEE a gene, for
> >petessake. It was beyond fathoming!
> >(who wishes you could somehow get a PhD in "the natural
> history of the
> >macroorganisms of the eastern US")
/"Unless stated otherwise, comments made on this list do not necessarily
/ reflect the beliefs or goals of the North American Native Fishes
/ This is the discussion list of the North American Native Fishes Association
/ nanfa_at_aquaria.net. To subscribe, unsubscribe, or get help, send the word
/ subscribe, unsubscribe, or help in the body (not subject) of an email to
/ nanfa-request_at_aquaria.net. For a digest version, send the command to
/ nanfa-digest-request_at_aquaria.net instead.
/ For more information about NANFA, visit our web page, http://www.nanfa.org