As most of the people in the Sustainability LLC class know, I visited the Galapagos Islands on June 2015. The trip, of course, was the trip of a lifetime. Not only did I see almost every animal I wanted to see, not only was the culture and history of the islands beyond fascinating, not only did i dive with over sixty female Scalloped Hammerhead Sharks, but the entire trip set in stone the job I knew I wanted to do. What was the job, you may ask? To go into the wild and record animal species and quantities for science and conservation. A few weeks or months later, I would then go back, record again, and compare the statistics. You are probably wondering, why would an exquisite trip to the Galapagos Islands cause someone to become so ambitious for such a specific job? The answer lies in what I did on my trip.
On my trip to the Galapagos, I actually recorded both the species of animals I saw, and the quantity of each species, each according to their Order or some higher classification (i.e., Mammals, Birds, Reptiles, Bony Fish, Sharks, Rays, and Invertebrates). I did it on the fly, after each excursion that I did every day. My grand total of animal species that I spotted during my nine days there, disregarding insects due to difficulty and lack of interest, was roughly around one hundred and ten. That is nearly five times more than animal species spotted in my trip to Alaska in 2007. That number is also incidentally a quantity of animal species three times more than both of my trips to Yellowstone in the years 2012 and 2014. The vast majority of animal species I spotted were Bony Fish, primarily while scuba diving.
This species recording that I did on my trip to the Galapagos not only helped me enjoy and appreciate the trip of a lifetime even more, but this activity that I did on my own was perfect practice for my future ambitious career. What could I do next as practice for the future career? Could I go to Africa, and record the amount of Ungulates? Could I head to the mountains of Nepal and find the elusive Snow Leopards? Could I dive in the Great Barrier Reef just to see how the reef is doing? Of course, the possibilities are endless. What do you think I should do?