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Productivity seems to be more of a career-oriented topic, but this is actually really important in wildlife and conservation work, and it’s something that is often overlooked.
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When I was in graduate school and working as a postdoc, I often felt so overwhelmed with all the work I had to do. I know that many other people out there feel exactly the same way. There’s several reasons for this.
First, there’s just a lot of problems to work on regarding wildlife and conservation. Human population growth keeps increasing and therefore we continue to have issues with habitat destruction and loss, human wildlife conflict, and of course we have climate change to name a few. There are just so many things for us to work on!
Another big component is about the support – or should I say the lack of support. To effectively work on the increasing number of problems we have, we really need the funding to be able to hire for a lot of positions to employ people to help solve these.
But we don’t have that in wildlife and conservation work. Our field is very poorly funded compared to other fields. Although the data and trends show that conservation nature jobs are increasing. They’re not increasing at the same level as people who want to enter the career or graduate. In other words, there’s more work out there with fewer people doing the work meaning professionals have to do more work for each job than they used to.
It’s really important, therefore, that we be productive so that we can efficiently work on conservation and wildlife problems!
On top of that, conservation and wildlife work carries an emotional “weight” that can make it difficult to work sometimes.
In the past few years, I became an entrepreneur running the Fancy Scientist (i.e. the blog you are reading right now!). I have listened to a lot of entrepreneurial podcasts, audio books, and have taken many courses. The mindset between scientists and entrepreneurs is incredibly different. Scientists can learn so much from the entrepreneurial world about how to be more productive. The processes behind many of the things that we are doing in the science/conservation arena is a slow and inefficient way to do things.
In this podcast, I share with you my biggest tip. It’s the most important tip and it will likely surprise you.
Resources and Sources in Being Productive for Wildlife Conservation
Stephanie Manka, Ph.D. is a wildlife biologist with 20 years of experience in mammal ecology and conservation, education, and outreach. Read her story to find out how she went from the daughter of a jeweler to a Ph.D. in wildlife biology.