Conservation Career Day

February 23, 2021

Do you like being outdoors? Are you passionate about nature and wildlife? Perhaps you like technology and engineering, but would love a way to connect your high-tech interests to conservation? Or you know you’d be a great teacher, but are less sure you want to be in a classroom? Join us to discover people who turned their interests in fields such as science, engineering, education, and technology into careers that help the planet. These people work at zoos, universities, nonprofit organizations, wildlife sanctuaries, and clinics… and they’ve all made the Earth their boss!

This online event is held on Zoom and is ideal for families with 7th-12th graders and undergraduate students.  **Note that youth under 18 can not register themselves; they will need a parent/guardian to register them and provide an email contact.**

Register to attend our Virtual Career Day on April 18, 2021!

When you register, you can choose to attend as many sessions as you like (details on sessions and speakers are below). During each session, you will hear from professionals in that field and have time for questions. Thanks to a generous donor, this online event is free!

Note: For privacy reasons, this event will not be recorded nor archived. 

  • Science & Conservation Biology at 1:00 p.m. ET / 10:00 a.m. PT
  • Engineering & Technology at 2:00 p.m. ET / 11:00 a.m. PT
  • Wildlife Veterinary Medicine & Rehabilitation at 3:00 p.m. ET / 12:00 p.m. PT
  • Education & Outreach at 4:00 p.m. ET / 1:00 p.m. PM

Science & Conservation Biology

Do you like science and being outdoors? Maybe you’re interested in doing research, working in the field, and doing applied conservation work? Professionals in this field include field biologists, land managers, and researchers such as ornithologists and ecologists. They ask questions and collect and analyze data, looking for  solutions to pressing environmental problems.

Session Host: Kelly Schaeffer has a background in wildlife conservation and natural resources, and has worked to better understand breeding and winter ecology of neotropical migrant birds.

Speakers for this session:

  • Triana Arguedas Álvarez is a Masters student studying artisanal fisheries and local bull shark populations in the Mexican Atlantic. She works to protect sharks and to develop ways for countries to effectively manage shared shark stocks.
  • Dr. Gemma Clucas is a field biologist and marine conservationist who travels the world. She studies seabird diets, population structures, and adaptive differences among populations so we can conserve them.
  • Dr. Viviana Ruiz Gutierrez is an ecologist who works on conservation projects with partner organizations and communities in Latin America.
  • Dr. Peter McIntyre is an aquatic conservation ecologist and professor at Cornell University. He works around the world to develop management approaches that balance human interests with protecting freshwater biodiversity.

Engineering & Technology

The natural world is complex, but by using the tools of technology and engineering we can begin to understand and solve problems. There are many ways to connect high-tech interests to the outdoors. Careers include bioacoustics monitoring, app development, understanding and analyzing big datasets, machine learning, and wildlife tracking technologies.

Session Host: Susan Licher has a background using GIS and modeling to conserve natural resources in her work at USGS.

Speakers for this session:

  • Bobbi Estabrook works at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology studying baleen whales. She uses sound to understand how whales live and survive in marine habitats that are impacted by humans.
  • Jasdev Imani is an app developer at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. He develops new features and improves coding within eBird and produces the computer vision models that power Merlin Photo ID. Working at the Lab enables him to combine his passion natural world with his expertise as a software developer.
  • Dr. Peter Marchetto is a Research Engineer and Instrumentation Scientist at Conservify. He has experience in hardware engineering and building experimental tools to help people study life sciences and systems.
  • Dr. Ruth Richardson is an Associate Professor in Civil and Environmental Engineering at Cornell University. She works to understand how microbes can be used in wastewater treatment and sustainable bioenergy.

Wildlife Veterinary Medicine & Rehabilitation

Veterinary medicine and rehabilitation allows up-close connection to wildlife, and an understanding of how those animals function and survive in the Earth’s changing environment. You might help injured wildlife, study disease transmission, or take action for endangered species in captive breeding programs in places like wildlife preserves, zoos, and aquaria.

Session Host: Kayla Shelly is a Cornell University student who studies Animal Science. She is applying to attend veterinary school in fall 2021.

Speakers for this session:

  • Dr. Sara E. Childs-Sanford is a wildlife veterinarian at Cornell University, and Chief of Service at the Janet L. Swanson Wildlife Hospital. She treats all kinds of ill or injured native wildlife species, and does research to improve patient outcomes and our understanding of wildlife diseases.
  • Dr. Barry Hartup is the Director of Conservation Medicine at International Crane Foundation. His research benefits many species of cranes, both in the wild and in captivity.
  • Kira Klebe is the director of Rescue and Rehabilitation at World Bird Sanctuary in St. Louis, Missouri. She is a Veterinary Technician with a background in fish and wildlife management.
  • Dr. Robin Radcliffe is the director of Cornell University’s Conservation Medicine Program. His research focuses include infectious disease and conservation in rare Indonesian rhinos.

Education & Outreach

There are many ways to share your love of nature and the outdoors with people, including youth and families! In this session, we’ll explore careers in fields such as environmental education, interpretation, exhibits, and science communication.

Session Hosts: 

Dr. Lilly Briggs is an environmental educator who founded Finca Cántaros Environmental Association. She worked with the Cornell Lab of Ornithology K-12 team while in graduate school, and is now dedicated to preserving land and using it to educate her local community in Costa Rica.

Jennifer Fee is the Manager of K-12 Programs at Cornell Lab of Ornithology.

Speakers for this session:

  • Jamaka Fisher is a Zoologist and Exotic/Wild Animal Care Specialist who runs Jamaka’s Jungle, a family-friendly educational animal show.
  • Ben Lam is the Education Program Coordinator at International Crane Foundation.
  • Julie Watson is the Statewide Wildlife Education Coordinator and Volunteer Coordinator for the Nevada Department of Wildlife. She has spent her career sharing nature and wildlife with the public and students in many locations across the country.
  • Alaina Young serves as Thousand Islands Land Trust’s Education and Outreach Coordinator. She manages the Volunteer Program and the Boat Launch Steward Program. She’s also worked as a dolphin tour guide, an interpreter at a zoo, and as an environmental educator at a marine lab.

Note: Changes to our speaker list may need to take place due to unforeseen circumstances.


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