All kids are curious about the natural world. But as TU’s Senior Scientist Jack Williams knows, that interest doesn’t have to end in childhood.
“It’s possible to nurture that natural curiosity and turn it into a lifetime passion and pursuit,” he says, offering his own 30-year career protecting native fish in the West and nationwide as an example. “They’re paying me to work on conserving beautiful places. You can’t beat it.”
If your child or grandchild loves fish and rivers, “keep feeding that interest” Williams says, especially once the child hits junior high and high-school. Too often, we stop talking to kids about nature just when they’re starting to think about careers. What could be better than working on a life-long passion in a beautiful setting? Fish, wildlife and conservation jobs can offer that.
Make connections with the non-profits, agencies, universities, watershed councils and environmental consulting firms doing conservation work in your area. These are all potential career paths, and chances are one of these places needs an intern or volunteer or would help your child with a school project.
Williams and his wife, Cindy, a fellow fisheries biologist, encouraged their sons Austin and Josh to go the internship route. Josh spent a summer in middle school doing field research with an Arizona State professor and completed a high-school project with the Klamath Bird Observatory before launching his career in habitat restoration. Austin turned a high-school internship at the state legislature into a career doing legal and legislative work to protect fisheries.
Even if your child ultimately chooses a different career, you’ll have fostered an enduring love of streams and fishing—and guaranteed your family a lifetime of shared experiences on the water.
Find out about internships at TU.