Galapagos Trip- Inspiration for my future career!

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?

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3 comments

  1. sonamka12 · November 3, 2015

    This is a very intriguing post! It is amazing how one experience can change your life in such a manner. The Galapagos Islands and land areas in the tropics in general are known to be diverse, which allows them to be effective and interesting study sites. I believe that another trip to a different part of the world will open your eyes to another side of you. You should try another part of the world with a different climate and terrain, such as the mountains of Nepal . Maybe you will want to focus on a specific species or particular area as a career in statistics. but I support you all the way! Good luck on your next adventure!

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  2. Joshua Stickles · November 3, 2015

    This is very interesting and I see where your passion for animals comes from now. I like how you turned a trip into a learning experience for you and that was the inspiration behind what you wanna study here at GMU. The opportunities are limitless and the different areas and animals. Also who knows what the future has for your explorations, you can find a new species or find more animals that people thought were gone.

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  3. andrewwingfield · November 11, 2015

    It’s great that you have found your passion and that you can turn it into a focus for your studies and your professional life. Conservation is a great cause and I applaud you for pursuing it.

    Like

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