Carmen DeLeon - McCall Outdoor Science School | University of Idaho
Lindsay Wildlife Experience, Volunteer Engagement Coordinator. Daly City, California.
Favorite thing you like about your work:
My favorite thing about my job is that I have a position where I get to use my whole mind and many facets of my skills to help conserve wildlife. For example, I might be training educators in teaching a new NGSS program one hour and then feeding a peregrine falcon the next! I love mentoring both our adult and youth education volunteers because they are a powerful team that helps our organization inspire others to be responsible for the world we share. Interacting with the resident animal ambassadors gives me a chance to always be a scientist thinking critically about behavioral ecology so that I can engage our museum guests in science activities that help them learn environmentally responsible actions they can take to help each species.
Based on your own experience, what did you get out of your time at MOSS and why would you recommend it to someone else?
The biggest impact that MOSS had on my life was providing the mentorship, experiences, and friendship that I needed to have the confidence to pursue a career that would allow be to fully engage my dual identity as both a wildlife biologist and a science educator. I came to MOSS looking for direction and found the strong support of professors who challenged us, held us accountable, and helped us learn with fun along the way. Through our explorations in class where we got to engage with local scientists and get into the field to conduct inquiries with our students, I learned that the idea of education and wildlife biology being “soft science” was totally a myth. MOSS pushed my comfort zone with many first-time experiences like backpacking and living in the snow, yet the friendships forged with fellow grads made these challenges into adventures with stories I will always remember. I recommend MOSS because it is a community of learning that you cannot find anywhere else. The hands-on investigations, amazing scenery, and camaraderie can help you find the big picture questions and goals to be an environmental leader and feel empowered to make a difference.