More than welcome!!

More than welcome!!

I’m a FWIMP member now!! FWIMP is the acronym of Fish and Wildlife Inventory and Monitoring Program, and this is the program I am working with. All my co-workers that work in this program (department) call themselves FWIMPs and now I one of them. Since day one, my supervisor, Vanessa McDonough, has made me feel very welcome as well as everyone else here in the park, especially the FWIMPs, and I appreciate that. They even gave me a bike so I can use it whenever I want during my time here! One important fact about this park is that most of the positions are occupied by women and I consider that as a huge step in women’s empowerment and gender equality.

About my project, I am still in training and doing the creel surveys with some help from my supervisor and co-workers. My project is divided into two important parts: 1) The interaction with the anglers to get the information in the interviews, and 2) The knowledge of the fishing identification and regulations. I am doing very well in the first part because it is in my nature to talk to people and make them feel comfortable talking to me (most of the time!). The second part is the hardest one for me, but I am doing my best studying and getting familiar with the fishes and the regulations.

We do the creel surveys in the afternoons because at that time is when the anglers come back from fishing, allowing me to have more experience and knowledge about all the other projects that my department has. Other work that I have been doing so far include: turtle nesting monitoring and inventory, beach clean-ups, safety reviews, and exotic plant removal. In those, I had the chance to learn about the plants that are considered invasive for the keys, the techniques to recognize the turtle nest and track, the steps to do when dead turtles are found, and a lot more.

Loggerhead Sea Turtle (Caretta caretta) nest found in one of the keys.

It’s been so good so far and I know that every day is going to get better!
Thanks for reading my blog!

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