I’m back in town folks!
I’ve been off doing some volunteer work up in Yarra State Forest catching some lizards for the weekend which involved me helping a Zoology phd student catch lizards! So basically, his project was to monitor the effects of logging to the environment. And to measure the effects, we went to various sites in the forest to collect samples such as soil, insects, and lizards to see if there is a difference to the diversity of the animals, and general health of the environment.
It was about a 2 hour commute from Melbourne to Yarra Junction (Yes – PUBLIC TRANSPORT), and we stayed in a caravan park tucked away in the forest. Our days would be something like this: 6am starts, driving around the forest to 22 sites checking out the number of lizards in traps, opening and closing traps, taking soil samples, checking fly traps, 7.30 finishes.
My trip consists of lots of bush bashing. Lots of me falling into ditches (again!) But this time mother nature wasn’t that forgiving and I’ve copped a few bruises and cuts. Lovely!
We managed to catch a number of lizards which was exciting! (Pictures of them are in my gallery at the bottom of this post). They were all little skinks, but in the past the phd student has caught a massive blue tongue lizard! Not only are there heaps of little skinks around…spiders, scorpions and bull ants were hanging about too. And not just your everyday spiders, but big hairy ones!
Visiting some of the logging sites were quite surreal.
Why volunteer with such projects?
There’s a number of reasons why I volunteer with these projects:
1) To get more hands-on experience – I’d much rather be outside, first-hand experiencing things to learn rather than sitting in a lecture all day long.
2) To get a taste of what research is like, and to see if research is a possible career option – You’ll never know till you go out there and try! So it’s better if I check it out now, rather than realising half way through a phd or masters that I hate it.
3) So I can get a better chance of getting an internship – One of my goals is to apply for a number of internships working at a research centre/or even at a zoo at the end of 2013! With these experiences on my CV, it would increase my chances of getting an internship (I hope!)
4) Volunteering helps me feed my passion for animal health and conservation, and education! One day, I hope that I can integrate both my love for animals and teaching into a career (maybe, an educational officer at the zoo? Something along those lines).
I want to volunteer to help out with zoology projects too. Where can I sign up?
If you’re thinking of heading down the animal path, or even if you just want to go on an awesome adventure, jump on to the Melbourne University Zoology Student Society and ‘like’ their Facebook page. Lots of research students advertise volunteer positions on there all the time!
In the past I’ve also volunteered with projects involving catching swans (see picture below) and bandicoots (see my previous post).
In the mean time, I’ll be busy putting my costume together for oweek and writing up more blog posts!
Hope everyone has managed to fix up and register into their classes today! And hope you enjoy the pictures that I snapped up while I was away.