Written by Micah Knabb, '11. "College trained me to be a wildlife biologist and SCA and the bird refuge have given me incredible experience in this field," Micah says. "They have also allowed me to explore other areas of conservation and public outreach, and this has given me valuable awareness in planning my future goals."
"College trained me to be a wildlife biologist and SCA and the bird refuge have given me incredible experience in this field," Micah says. "They have also allowed me to explore other areas of conservation and public outreach, and this has given me valuable awareness in planning my future goals."
Just days after graduating from Ohio University, SCA intern Micah Knabb reported to Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge in Utah. As part of SCA's new tribal intern program, Micah, a Cherokee, surveyed grasslands, inventoried bird species, and studied abnormalities in Northern Leopard frog populations. Armed with a fresh biology degree and field experience, he is eager for his next discovery.
Micah is one of 16 interns in the new tribal intern program. Agencies like The Fish and Wildlife Service, which also partners with SCA on other youth diversity initiatives, depend on these programs to develop a more inclusive workforce while building stronger connections with under-represented communities.
But for Micah, his SCA internship at Bear River was an opportunity to gain real, hands-on experience in conservation work. Micah wrote about his summer experience in his own blog, Wildlife Wanderer .
Geese Catchin in airboats:
Written by Micah Knabb, '11
By far, one of the most fun and wild experiences took place during my second week working at the Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge. The Fish and Wildlife service conducts surveys and bandings on a yearly basis for the Canadian Geese that inhabit the waters of our country. And, to do this, they must first catch them, which is where I came in.
First, however, we had to make sure that there were in fact Canadian Geese upon the refuge's wetlands, and thus myself and the refuge's main wildlife biologist, Howard Browers, took the truck around the entire 80,000 acre area and scouted for the birds with binoculars. We didn't see hardly any the entire 8 hours we were out, until the very end of the loop in which, as luck had it, we spotted 300 or more geese. The FWS was called out for the next day.
And how does one catch a Canadian Goose, masters of flight and migration? Why, wait until they molt their flight feathers of course. And how does one catch the birds who reside in water and are masters of swimming? You guessed it: Airboats.
So, the interns geared up in life jackets and goggles and boarded four large and powerful airboats with the intention of catching the elusive birds with bare hands. In order to do this, we were instructed to lay flat on our stomachs, half hanging over the front of the boat, arms extended to grab any part of the bird possible...all while cruising at full speed. Amazing fun, to say the least.
Upon capture, the geese were loaded into large crates onboard and then brought to shore once max capacity was reached. Each was unloaded one by one, and brought to the professional banders. Their sex recorded for each. Each were released, and scrapes were treated...and off they went.