Hailing from the New York Field Office!

I'm Bethany Holbrook, and I work at our New York Field Office. You'll be hearing from me every week! Stay tuned for tales from the great state of New York. USFWS photo with Bethany holding a bog turtle
I'm Bethany Holbrook, and I work at our New York Field Office. You'll be hearing from me every week! Stay tuned for tales from the great state of New York. USFWS photo with Bethany holding a bog turtle

I’m Bethany Holbrook, and I work at our New York Field Office. You’ll be hearing from me every week! Stay tuned for tales from the great state of New York.

I drove into work on a warm morning in June, dazed by my long, monotonous route and the heavy fog that settled across the winding roads in Cortland County.

Halfway to the office, I was lifted from my trance by the sun emerging from the clouds. The fog dissipated into a thin sheet above the valley, and the birds erupted into an orchestra of morning songs. I could see deer feeding in the adjacent field. A woodchuck cautiously approached the road ahead, but quickly retreated back to the woods once he heard me coming.

The morning air was crisp as I rolled down my window to take it all in. In an instant, my dreary ride to work became an awe-inspiring feeling of freedom. My frustration and my dreariness instantly vanished as I slowly toured the back-country roads of Cortland County.

It’s moments like this that make my job with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service even more valuable. My work helps ensure that others can partake in such invigorating experiences. I take part in state-wide conservation efforts – and get to see firsthand how they are enhancing resources for wildlife. The entire experience has made me more receptive to wildlife, and much more intrigued by my surroundings.

New York Field Office sign and building

Credit: USFWS

My year-long position with the Service’s New York Field Office started this summer and has already covered the typical agenda, such as traveling to wetlands in southeastern New York to do bog turtle surveys, visiting wetland restoration sites, and planning and participating in hands-on celebrations like Mud Day! So…maybe my job is a little a-typical. But our agency is constantly involved with exciting projects in the field of conservation, and my job at the field office is to share this work with our partners and communities.

I am a recent graduate of the New York State College of Environmental Science and Forestry, where I received a bachelor’s degree in environmental studies – communication, culture and writing. For the next year, I will bring you along on my adventures in the work of conservation. You’ll see through the field biologist’s eyes, but without all the muck, the flies, the sweating, long hours of data collection…you get my drift (but that’s where the fun is at!).

And of course, there will be plenty of pictures and videos to document these adventures along the way.

Mud Day Celebration at the Ithaca Children’s Garden in Ithaca, N.Y. Credit: USFWS

International Mud Day is celebrated by thousands of children in dozens of countries worldwide as a chance to celebrate nature and the great outdoors by getting muddy. Here’s a shot from the Mud Day Celebration at the Ithaca Children’s Garden in Ithaca, N.Y. Credit: USFWS

Conservation can be truly exciting, especially as you begin to read and understand all of the practices involved in protecting wildlife. These behind-the-scene stories may even influence you to adopt a sense of curiosity in conservation, as it has in me. Familiarizing yourself and even getting involved with conservation efforts can give you a whole new perspective on wildlife.

I hope you will connect with these stories and share that experience with others.

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