Friday, September 7, 2012

On the Right Path

Marjay snorkeling for fresh water mussles
Credit: USFWS
Marjay Taylor discovered his love for nature in fourth grade. As a student at King Elementary School in Portland, his class took a trip to The Oregon Zoo for a sleepover and was given the opportunity to also feed the animals. When asked about his favorite part of nature, Marjay states, “interacting with wildlife and the outdoors.” This summer, Marjay has done all of this and more as part of his internship with U.S. Fish & Wildlife’s Fishery Resources division.

The Field Experience
Before his senior year at David Douglas High School, Marjay was offered this summer internship after a job shadow with USFWS Assistant Regional Director, Mike Carrier. Though Marjay understands that the “office side of work” is just as important to his future, he feels his internship with the Service has given him a chance to gain hands-on experience and find an even better insight into his future. As for his chance to get outdoors, Marjay says with a smile: “it made this internship one hundred times better than being in the classroom. It showed me that being in the field is the greatest thing in the world.”

Spawning at Little White Salmon National
Fish Hatchery
Credit: Meghan Kearney/USFWS
In the few weeks Marjay has been working with Fishery Resources he has spawned steelhead salmon at Little White Salmon National Fish Hatchery, where he also worked with a United Cerebral Palsy group during a fishing day; he snorkeled for freshwater mussels, and took on the role of the National Wildlife Refuge System’s famous Blue Goose at the 100th Anniversary Girl Scouts Celebration in Albany, Oregon.(Check out Marjay as the Goose!)

A Day-in-the-Life
Marjay is no stranger to a fast-paced and active lifestyle. In addition to his time spent in the field with the Service, a typical day in Marjay’s summer involves waking up at 6:00 a.m. to spend some time in the USFWS Regional Office before heading off to football training from 3:00-6:00 p.m. After training, which sometimes requires him to run 8+ miles, or wear four layers of clothing to work out in a 100+ degree room, he heads home for dinner (and has been known to eat as many as three chicken teriyaki sub sandwiches to stay energized). The following day his routine is much the same though he transitions between his Service internship and another with The Oregonian.

Showing Pacific lamprey ammocoetes at the Girl Scout
100th year anniversary celebration.
Credit: Meghan Kearney/USFWS

Career Pathways
After high school, Marjay hopes to attend college, but his extreme adventurousness drives him to also attend school abroad at James Cook University in Australia studying and swimming with Great White Sharks. He also hopes to travel to South Africa to see Great Whites breaching.  

With a warm and outgoing personality, strong work ethic, and passion for nature, Marjay has been a great addition to the Service this summer. We are all hoping to one day find him in a career with the Service, getting to do what he loves – interacting with wildlife.

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