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ISO1600
08-10-2016, 10:21 AM
Hello all- My recent interest in trout has rekindled my lifelong interest in the sciences, specifically fisheries biology. When I was a kid I was all about fish and reptiles/amphibs, wanted to either be a marine biologist or herpetologist.

Well after 31 years on this earth, and 13 years in the Air Force, I have finally gotten serious about my education, and have started a degree plan majoring in Environmental Science, with a focus on Fisheries Biology. Long-term, after the AF, I want to pursue work in this field, whether it be state, federal, or private sector.

Any tips or pointers from those of you that are already involved in this work?

Any way I could get involved and hopefully get some hands-on in the field? I'm not super close to the park area, but if there are upcoming stream projects or work I could possibly take time off work (my schedule is pretty flexible) and get a kitchen pass haha. I know that real hands-on experience would be extremely valuable and I would love the chance to help out.

Thank you,

-Chris

elkhaircaddis
08-10-2016, 12:49 PM
I got my degree in wildlife and fisheries from UT (go vols) and I work on the wildlife side M-F 9-5 and do some fishing instruction/education/guiding on weekends. I was never terribly interested in the wildlife side of things in college but I got a really cool job and have been doing it for nearly ten years, you just never know I guess. I was also lucky enough to work an internship in college with the fisheries dept of the GSMNP. Matt Kulp (and formerly Steve Moore) are great guys to work with and learn from. Also learned where all the brook trout live! Let me know if you have any questions.

TNBigBore
09-08-2016, 01:49 PM
Got my BS and MS in Wildlife and Fisheries Biology back in the 90s and worked as a wild trout biologist for the state, university and private firms for several years. It is an enjoyable occupation to say the least. Learned a lot about Southern Appalachian trout and found lots of good places to fish as well :). I truly wish I could have stayed in the field.

Unfortunately, it is hard to make a living as the sole breadwinner for a family doing this kind of work. If you are single, have a spouse that works or are already financially secure, then more power to you. I wish you the best of luck.

elkhaircaddis
09-08-2016, 09:12 PM
^^^ that's an important part I left out. I don't have kids so I can afford to do what I love for a living hahaha

ISO1600
09-11-2016, 11:54 PM
haha that is a great point.
I will be doing this after retiring from the AF at 38, when our son is 12.