Dec 20, 2020
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Hey y’all,

I am currently an undergrad student on the path to vet school. I am interested in a career in wildlife conservation medicine/pathology and I am looking for advice about career prospects and seeking opportunities in the field. I am currently working in a wildlife disease lab at my university (not exactly doing research but assisting grad students and occasionally vets) and really enjoying it but I would also like to get some field experience and research experience. Outside of contacting professors/vets and job boards, are there any other ways to find out about opportunities? And are there any wildlife/pathology vets on here that could provide some insight about what the career involves on a day to day basis? (What do you enjoy/dislike about your job?). I would appreciate any and all information or advice!
 
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WildZoo

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I don't know any wildlife vets around SDN specifically, but I do know several irl. I'm a vet and PhD student in the wildlife health department at my school, my mentor is a wildlife pathologist, my labmate is on that trajectory. So, not quite *in* that career but I'm adjacent to it.

If you're already involved in research that's great! Use that connection. If anyone connected with your lab ever does field work, ask about opportunities to tag along. Ask about getting more involved in the actual research, or even taking on your own project. Every lab is different of course, but my PIs always encourage our undergrad workers to think about taking on their own projects. Many of them have gotten publications out of it.

Join the student chapter of the Wildlife Disease Association if your school has one. If they don't, you can still become a student member of the parent organization. WDA loves students, they have resources for finding internships and research opportunities and all that. You can also look into some of the opportunities listed on the American Association of Wildlife Veterinarians website, though I think most of those are geared toward veterinary students.

I would definitely chat with the grad students and vets in your lab if you haven't already though, they will be most familiar with opportunities in your area.
 
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Dec 20, 2020
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I don't know any wildlife vets around SDN specifically, but I do know several irl. I'm a vet and PhD student in the wildlife health department at my school, my mentor is a wildlife pathologist, my labmate is on that trajectory. So, not quite *in* that career but I'm adjacent to it.

If you're already involved in research that's great! Use that connection. If anyone connected with your lab ever does field work, ask about opportunities to tag along. Ask about getting more involved in the actual research, or even taking on your own project. Every lab is different of course, but my PIs always encourage our undergrad workers to think about taking on their own projects. Many of them have gotten publications out of it.

Join the student chapter of the Wildlife Disease Association if your school has one. If they don't, you can still become a student member of the parent organization. WDA loves students, they have resources for finding internships and research opportunities and all that. You can also look into some of the opportunities listed on the American Association of Wildlife Veterinarians website, though I think most of those are geared toward veterinary students.

I would definitely chat with the grad students and vets in your lab if you haven't already though, they will be most familiar with opportunities in your area.
Thank you for the reply!
 

max_wildlife

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hey so i'm not in vet school yet, but i do work in the field. i'm interested in a really similar career path and outside of my mentoring wildlife vet, i've found some genuinely interesting opportunities attending conferences.

a few years back i attended a conference for the wildlife society. i elected to join the wildlife health section and found myself in a room with a handful of wildlife veterinarians from various universities and organizations. we spoke at length throughout the day in between presentations and i learned about several interesting projects that i could get involved in as a student. i only ended up pursuing a couple because i was in grad school and overwhelmed, and i haven't been to a conference since. but attending was incredibly helpful. the pandemic is obviously squashing this, but def worth looking into when things improve. some will offer scholarships for students to attend too, even if you're not presenting research.
 
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