Shooting for the stars: From volunteer to employee

We are continuing our celebration of Women’s History Month, hearing from women in conservation. Today we sat down with Megan Davis, an employee that’s just beginning her full-time career with the Service. Find out how she got where she is today and what she hopes to make of her career in conservation. Stay tuned all month long as we hear from women across the Service!

From leading American kestrel research to assisting with outreach connecting visitors with nature, Megan Davis has had a range of experience with the Service working at national wildlife refuges.  As part of a military family, she remembers traveling the world and exploring the outdoors. It wasn’t until she started her education that she realized she could have a career doing what she loved, which is learning more about nature and all it has to offer. Beginning her career as a volunteer at Rappahannock River Valley National Wildlife Refuge in Virginia, Megan graduated from Pennsylvania State University and is now a wildlife refuge specialist at Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge in New York.

During her position at Parker River National Wildlife Refuge in Massachusetts, Megan helped the biology staff in mist-netting saltmarsh sparrows. Credit: USFWS

During her position at Parker River National Wildlife Refuge in Massachusetts, Megan helped the biology staff in mist-netting saltmarsh sparrows. Credit: USFWS

Q: How does your work impact wildlife and conservation, and what is most rewarding about your work to you?

A: As a wildlife refuge specialist, I am privileged to work in many of the refuge’s departments. I am able to work with the biology department on various surveys, and also visitor services, inspiring the next generation of youth through various programs and outreach events. One of the most rewarding days at work was when we received a letter from a fifth grader in Minnesota asking about our refuge in New York.  I think it’s wonderful that someone at such a young age is interested in conservation enough to want more information about it.

Read about more women in conservation!

Q: Do you have a female role model or a woman that you admire or look up to?

A: Without a doubt, I view Wendi Weber as my role model. She embodies everything it means to be a Fish and Wildlife Service employee and leader, and it isn’t only because of what she has accomplished. Her management skills and character are undoubtedly some of the strongest I’ve had the opportunity to work with, and although she has a position of such high power, she is always welcoming and inviting. Wendi is a huge inspiration for other women within the Service.

While at Rappahannock River Valley National Wildlife Refuge in Virginia, Megan led nature walks throughout the summer. Credit: USFWS

While at Rappahannock River Valley National Wildlife Refuge in Virginia, Megan led nature walks throughout the summer. Credit: USFWS

Q: How did you join the Service, and what do you see yourself doing 20 years from now? Will conservation still play a role in your life?

A: I started with the Service as a volunteer followed by several years in the Service’s student programs, the Student Temporary Employment Program and the Student Career Experience Program. In the many years to come, I can only hope that I will continue my career with the Fish and Wildlife Service family, and grow from a wildlife refuge specialist, to a deputy manager, refuge manager, and more!

Q: The theme for this year’s Women’s History Month is “Women Inspiring Innovation Through Imagination”; how might this theme play into your work?

A: As with any profession, you have to think outside the box at times. One has to be creative and energetic to not only get your work done, but to inspire your colleagues to do the same. Through imagination, a new world of opportunities opens.

Click here to read Megan’s profile on YouthGo.gov

 

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