http://www.wildlife.ca.gov/

California Department of Fish and Wildlife

Scientific Aid

March 2019 • Santa Rosa, CA

What I liked

This job is ongoing/year-round. I love being able to do field work and learn to identify and work with local marine species (fish, sharks, skates, rays, eels, crabs). I definitely did not think fish were as cool until I got this job. The spines, teeth, colors and life history strategies make them continuously fascinating. I travel all over the Bay Area to work at different types of job sites on piers, jetties, launch ramps and boats. I get to see a lot of other cool wildlife while on the job. My bosses are great and supportive. The scheduling is very flexible.

What I wish was different

I don't necessarily wish anything was different. Part of the job is surveying the general public (specifically people fishing). Finding ways to approach and handle people that don't want to interact with CDFW can be a challenge. However, one great person can make your day. Working with the public is not something I want to do in a job following graduation but it is definitely good experience and builds social skill that come easier to some than others and is important in any job. It's a great way to see the inner workings of CDFW and if it is a place I would want to work following graduation (which I do and they encourage).

Advice

This job has a lot of fun duties, others not so much. Sometimes it gets extremely busy and can have very long hours in a day, doing things that require skill and multitasking. There is a lot of driving in company vehicles (which I have learned to like). There can be difficult interactions with the anglers that don't want to cooperate. Anything that is difficult and makes you step outside of your comfort zone will build invaluable skills. I would recommend looking at these aspects of this (or any job) as something that will help you most. Learn from each experience and figure out how to handle it better the next time.
2 people found this helpful

Scientific Aid

April 2019 • West Sacramento, CA

What I liked

Great coworkers and fun fieldwork. Get to learn about the lab environment and collect data.

What I wish was different

Hours can be difficult to get used to.

Advice

Definitely have a long list of audiobooks or podcast you want to get through.
1 person found this helpful

Scientific aid

March 2018 • Eureka, CA

What I liked

Working outdoors, traveling and learning about California fisheries.

What I wish was different

I wish I got to work more hours.

Advice

It's an awesome experience for fish enthusiasts and a great entry level job for those interested in working for the state.
1 person found this helpful