A few comments from someone who you would probably lump into the middle-aged
The phenomenon that you are observing is really two-fold but fairly
representative of this kind of group and can probably be blamed on society as
a whole. In my opinion, NANFA is primarily composed of middle-aged folks
because by middle-age a person probably has a fairly stable job and some
resources to cover the financial end of a field trip and participating in the
hobby. Also, by middle-age there seems to be a bit more leisure time
available and so participation is easier because the kids are at least
somewhat grown. This can also be seen in groups such as Audubon where the
active members tend to be older with sufficient time and money to participate.
I see it all the time here at the FWNC&R where our active volunteers probably
average 50 years or so. The male part of the equation is, in my opinion,
related to the object of our interest, i.e. fish. For some reason, fish, and
particularly native fish, seem to be more attractive to males. Our local
Audubon Society and Butterfly Society are dominated by women. I think that's
just the way things are.
I think that everyone would agree that NANFA would love to have more young
whipper-snappers, male or female, participating in the organization and maybe
you could help. Could you post some NANFA membership brochures or flyers
around your campus? If you could get a few extra copies of American Currents
to pass out to prospective members, would you do it? (Chris Scharpf, if you
are reading this, I would be willing to give Traci my extra BOD copies of the
next AC.) NANFA is a membership driven organization and it is up to all of us
to diversify the group.
The good news is that the make-up of the group will change and proof of that
is all around you in your wildlife classes. Twenty years ago, I was a
wildlife major. The classes were almost all male. Female wildlifers were
relatively uncommon. Today, I occasionally get to be a guest lecturer in
various wildife, biology, and environmental science classes and I see a much
higher percentage of women than I ever did as a student.
On another note regarding being a wildlife major...learn about the trees, the
soils, the parasites, the history of land use, the environmental laws, and
everything else that you can. You will someday find that a wildlife
professional has to sometimes be a forester, a soil scientist, a land use
planner, a law interpreter, etc. What seems irrelevant today may be the thing
that sets you apart from your competition and lands you a job.
Fort Worth Nature Center & Refuge
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Traci Mount
> Sent: Wednesday, September 25, 2002 12:43 AM
> To: nanfa_at_aquaria.net
> Subject: NANFA-- alabama gettaway and such
> I wish I could go to this kind of thing! Sounds like fun, I
> however have been spending most of my evenings and weekends
> doing homework. I realize that it is important that I learn
> everything there is to know about 130 species of trees, and
> that I may someday need to find out how much merchantable
> wood is in a 75' 15" pine tree. I am a wildlife major,
> however, I am realizing this semester is about TREES.
> Actually, we did spend 20 min measuring long dead fish in one
> class, but we are back to trees now. Before I complain about
> school any more, I do love it. I am outside almost every day
> for lab. (getting bitten by bugs and measuring trees)
> I lost my point. I think we should enlist more females and
> college age people. The idea of me spending a weekend w/
> middle age men, not many women and no one my age, however fun
> the fish, is just not acceptable. (I also think that my
> significant other has something to do with this idea- party pooper!)
> Yes, we need a younger, more diverse group of fish lovers so
> that the minority may come forward! AKA me!
> Am I the only female on the NANFA list? only female under 25?
> I know there is Travis, but are there any others here that
> are 20ish?? Speak up, don't be shy!
> I want to share the moon pies!
> Traci - on her soapbox. again.
> ps. its late, what can I say.
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