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NWP Global Registry of Apprentice Ecologists - Humboldt County, California, USA

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Humboldt County, California, USA
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Registered: August 2010
City/Town/Province: McKinleyville
Posts: 1
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Stepping Stones
As many people might say, I want to change the world. I remember being afraid of taking any science class. My confidence was shattered and I thought I would fail for sure. The beginning of the class was focused on genes and DNA. "This is so boring!" I complained in my head. I wondered "is this really all Biology is?" I can now say that I was completely wrong. Taking Biology was the first stepping stone that influenced my future career and future choices.
It made me nervous that we were about to go on a field trip. My peptic ulcers have always been something that tended to hold me back. I faced my fear of embarrassment and decided to go anyways. How difficult could cleaning a forest be, right? I hoped that time would pass quickly and that my stomach wouldn’t cause any problems. My Biology class arrived at the forest and began hacking away at the ivy and holly that held the giant redwoods in their deadly grip. As soon as I brought down the beast, I felt as though one person can truly make a difference. Soon enough, I was bringing down more and more of the “forest devils” and when it came time to leave, I didn’t want to stop working! The feeling of pure pride encouraged me to do even more in my community and reminded me of the importance I already was to certain things.
My first period teacher read the school bulletin aloud to the class freshman year: “animal shelter volunteers wanted.” My eyes instantly widened and I couldn’t wait until my first day of volunteering. I became nervous as I saw the group of new and old volunteers from my school and the group leaders waiting to give instructions. I was lead into the cat room and I noticed that no kennel was vacant. It was upsetting to think about what it was like to be in a small crate-like kennel with metal bars. They did nothing wrong, yet they had to live in a prison. Even though I was shy, I decided to speak up and try and get these cats adopted! I created a Facebook fan page and took photos of the animals to promote their adoption, asked friends and family if they were interested in getting a new family member, and bought supplies for the shelter and encouraged my friends to do the same. It took a lot of time, but one by one, I saw each resident adopted and another put in its place. As my excitement grew, I began getting my friends involved and the shy, nervous little girl I once was blossomed into who I am today. Time passed and I began to forget what importance I was to the shelter and became tired of just one thing to concentrate on. Biology helped me remember that I was there to help, I was having a positive influence on the lives of animals and people, and brought my love of science out from the shadows.
Junior year, I decided to take Marine Biology and Chemistry at the same time. I had always been afraid of Chemistry because my sister was always telling me how awful it was. Oh how she was wrong! I seemed to pick up on it fairly quickly. Heat capacity, molarity, conversions, biochemistry, chemical bonds, density, and the labs we did in class were all fun to me and I never thought that I’d actually love science! Chemistry even helped me in my Marine Biology class. We began with learning about waves and how density helped plankton stay alive. I didn’t find plankton too interesting until we began making models of them and entered them into competitions that consisted of floating and sinking rates and realistic appearances. My lab partner and I decided to go for the status of most realistic. We decided on making a radiolarian and, I must say, we surprised ourselves. Our project is now hanging from the ceiling of the classroom for everyone to see. Later on in the year, we started talking about marine mammals. I was shocked to find out how many careers there were that involved caring for them and helping their environment. I knew right away from that point on what I wanted to do for the rest of my life.
As a high school freshman, my confidence was nowhere to be found and I was wrong about my capabilities. Now that I am a senior, I realize that my life has changed dramatically just because I made the decision to take Biology. That stepping stone has revealed to me that I am motivated and determined to learn more. I have scored 100% in Chemical Bonds, Biochemistry, Investigation and, Experimentation on the Star Test for Chemistry, became leader of volunteering at the animal shelter and decided that what I want to do is be a marine mammal rehabilitation veterinarian. During the Biology field trip I discovered that I wanted to make a difference and change the world. Thanks to the events that followed, I now know I can.
· Date: August 26, 2010 · Views: 2681 · File size: 48.8kb, 1778.7kb · : 3280 x 2460 ·
Hours Volunteered: 240
Volunteers: 80
Authors Age & Age Range of Volunteers: 15
Area Restored for Native Wildlife (hectares): 0.8
Trash Removed/Recycled from Environment (kg): 9
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