It’s no secret that the wildlife or conservation field can be competitive, and many of you have always asked me, “How do I get my foot in the door?” or “Is there any chance that I will get a permanent job in the future?”
And my answer is always yes. If this is what you truly want, you can get it, but it will require strategy. Gone are the days of just getting a degree and a job quickly, which will require other things you might not know about and even thinking outside the box.
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Scott Putnam loves to give this kind of advice to students and entry-level job seekers. Scott has worked as a Regional Fisheries Biologist with the Idaho Department of Fish and Game for over thirty years. He spearheads monitoring anadromous fish in freshwater and their migration to and from saltwater, which requires remarkable fieldwork like snorkeling in beautiful rivers for hours. And you may have heard Scott’s name before.
If you listened to podcast episode #86: Getting a Wildlife Career with NO Wildlife Experience: Interview with Ron Lewis, you’ll recognize that Scott is the person who hired Ron. Ron spoke so highly of Scott and knew he had so much great advice to give that he connected us both for this interview to help all of you out.
In this podcast, I interview Scott about his career as a fisheries biologist, from volunteering to working his way up. You might think Scott had his fisheries career set from the beginning, but that wasn’t the case; he took a side trip as an enforcement officer in conservation and a business management position along the way.
So how did Scott build his career as a regional fisheries biologist, and what tips does he have for aspiring biologists?
Trust me – this podcast is GOLD. Scott reveals many great career tips – many that you have likely never heard – and stories of his fun adventures in fieldwork.
Resources and Sources for 30 Years of Wildlife Career with Fisheries Biologist Scott Putnam
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.