My Role Model & Snakes?!!

Kristen and I planting Mangroves

My Role Model & Snakes?!!


My supervisor Kristen Ewen is someone who inspires me. From our first interaction to the most recent, her energy has not wavered. I have always admired and looked up to Kristen, a truly remarkable individual who embodies the things I aspire to be. Her unwavering determination and relentless pursuit of excellence are awe-inspiring. Kristen’s remarkable intellect and creative genius seem effortless as she navigates through complex challenges with grace and ease. What sets her apart, though, is her genuine kindness and compassion. She provides an environment that allows you to grow and be uncomfortable without feeling a great deal of pressure. You truly sense that she wants everyone around her to feel and do their best. Despite incredible achievements, Kristen remains humble and always makes time to lend a helping hand to those in need. She is not only a role model, but also a guiding light, illuminating the path toward greatness to making a positive impact on the world. Kristen’s determined resolve to push boundaries and make a difference serves as a constant reminder to me that with hard work, passion, and a heart full of empathy, one can truly make change.

Kristen holding hatchlings

I was introduced to an exciting project this week called the Red Tail Boa team in collaboration with the USDA. Since 2012, a total of 54 non-native snakes have been captured on St. Croix Island. The introduction of Red Tail Boas is believed to result from individuals owning them as pets and releasing them into the rainforest when they became too large or costly to feed. These Boas have now spread throughout the west end, preying on small mammals and reptiles as they struggle to find sustenance. Female Red Tail Boas have the astonishing ability to give birth to up to 60 live young in a single batch and can reach an impressive length of 13 feet. As part of their efforts, the USDA Boa team brought trained dogs to the Salt River Bay National Historic Park to search for and capture any potential snakes. During a demonstration, they presented a frozen dead snake to showcase how the dogs locate and react to the presence of a Boa. The dog points towards the snake, barks persistently until commanded to stop, and is then rewarded with a mini-game of fetch. As of now, no snakes have been caught on the property, although there was one possible false positive or the dog might have been responding to the residual scent of a snake.

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