Steven (If only they would listen)

Written by Steven Payne Ok, so here we go…. I was born in the country, now I live near the ocean. I love animals. And nature. The End. Elaborate? Ok Fine. For those of you in the US, or familiar with our geography, I was born and raised in Kentucky. Small town with mainly farm […]

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Freija (Only dead fish go with the flow)

Written by Freija Mendrik I’ve never really had a plan, I just made sure I followed what I was passionate about. I grew up spending as much time in the water as possible; I always wanted to be at the beach, in a rock pool or building sand creations. We lived right by the Jurassic […]

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Sebastian (My life in the hands of birds)

Written by Sebastian Moreno You would think having a gun flashed at you while doing field work would get you to pack it up, go home, lock yourself in your room, and reconsider your career choices. I won’t pretend to be brave and I will 100% admit, I did finish field work that day, go […]

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Ian (A tale of a green thread)

Written by Ian Hawkins When I visit my home town of Anglesea, I see green thread everywhere. There’s some wrapped around the bridge, there is some wrapped along the side of a path, at a reveg project we did in primary school, and even up the branches of Angahook- the red Ironbark. I was 20, […]

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A survival guide to being a Lonely Conservationist

Being a Lonely Conservationist is hard and often feels endless. I have wondered so many times if I will ever get to where I want to go, meet who I want to meet and have the experiences I have dreamed of. Recently, I realised that I have got myself to a really happy place where […]

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Elliot (The road less travelled)

Written by Elliot Connor “Two roads diverged in a wood, and I— I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference.” Robert Frost Rejections are hard to stomach. I got two just trying to write this article. Because when you’re 16 years old, it’s tough trying to break into the […]

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Em (The Long Road)

Written by Em Hull Before I begin my story, I want to lay out a scenario for you. There’s a little girl, maybe four or five years old. Her parents are alcoholics and her Mum is bipolar. She never knows what she’s coming home to, but she always knows her dog will be there. Fast […]

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Sarah (The “Everything Else” Person)

Written by Sarah Bell When I was a child and first learned the word “zoologist,” I clung to that word, that title, that dream, like the burrs that now cling to my hiking boots. Animals, any animals, all the animals. It was all my little mind could think about. From a young age, I was […]

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Racheal (For the elephants)

Written by Rachael Lowe Content/ trigger warning: suicide, rape, self-harm, depression, anxiety You know when you’re a kid and you get asked, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” The answer is usually something you’ve seen in books or on TV – a doctor, an astronaut, a lawyer. When you “grow up,” […]

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Oliver (How nature saved my life)

Written by Oliver Leach My story starts off very slow, but I wouldn’t change a thing because it made me into the person I am today. “Happiness can be found in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light.” – Dumbledore I’m one of three boys on my father’s side […]

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Defined by our duty

Being a conservationist can sometimes feel like a curse that forces you to explain too many of your life’s details to complete strangers. This is all because of the absence of a simple job title to satisfy their question: “So what do you do?” “So, what do you do” actually means “So, what brings in […]

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Lynette (Jungle Lass: wildlife biologist turned media pro)

Written by Lynette Plenderleith I have heard that if you have a Plan B, you are not fully committed to Plan A and you might as well wave it goodbye. Maybe that’s right. I had both Plan A and Plan B and I worked exclusively through Plan B for well over ten years. Maybe I’ve […]

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Katherine (So, being a Costa Rican biologist must be so cool, right?)

Written by Katherine González My story is not an epic story; to the contrary, I am just another girl who grew up in one of the most biodiverse countries in the world – Costa Rica. You can imagine how much wildlife and nature surrounds you when you grow up here; you hear about Costa Rican […]

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Jarred (Dark sky advocate and conspiracy debunker)

Story written by Jarred Donkersley I grew up in Arizona in the 90s as a skateboarder and punk rocker, marking me as somewhat of a political radical. I studied the colonial history of America, critical theory, and post-modernism in college, while the events of 9/11/2001 had me spinning deep into conspiracy theories and cynicism. From […]

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Krista (A little confidence goes a long way)

Written by Krista  It’s mid-January in 2018. Snow blankets every surface and the Rideau Canal has opened for its 119th season. Wind howls as it rushes around the building, rattling the windows. I’m sitting at my desk nursing an umpteenth cup of tea while preparing a monthly report summarising recent progress of my experiment. At […]

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Body and mind

Ten months ago or so, I moved to a new city. A colder city where I had to wear an actual coat outside and ten layers of blankets inside. I thought I loved winter but this type of cold affected me in ways I didn’t imagine it would. The windchill left me with bloodshot eyes […]

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Nene (Never Lose Hope)

Story written by Nene Haggar Indonesia isn’t all beauty. It isn’t the poetry of wildlife you hear echo throughout the forests; but rather the sound of chainsaws annihilating them. It isn’t the smell of fresh air in the morning that surrounds your existence; it’s a smoky cloud hovering above you as flames dance landscapes to […]

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Natasha (the Forever Field Assistant)

Story written by Natasha Bartolotta With my shirt sticking to my back and muddy water spilling into my boots, I trudged through the swamp forest of Sumatra deciding, once again, to extend my time at an orangutan research field station. I had been there for 15 hot, humid months and had already extended my stay […]

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Patrick (Overqualified and under-prepared)

Story written by Patrick Tomkins This isn’t a conservation success story. It might be one day, but it definitely isn’t yet. Like most people here, I’ve always wanted to work in conservation. I’ve never once considered doing anything else. When I finished school, I followed a fairly predictable pathway – BA, BSc (hons), then a […]

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Black and white and red all over

What is black and white and red all over? An embarrassed conservationist who couldn’t see the shades of grey. I feel like it is time to divulge a little into my own childhood for this particular story and maybe its time to share with you all how I have grown up throughout my journey into […]

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Lauren (Queer and Here)

Story Written by Lauren Weinstock When I think about where I am right now, in this moment, sitting in a cafe (the only working cafe within half an hour of my new temporary home), writing this blog that’s supposed to summarise who I am and how I got here and where I’m going – all […]

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Sarah (Finding a purpose beneath the waves)

Story written by Sarah Munro-Kennedy I remember the day that I realised my purpose in life was to protect sea life. It was a few days after an event that occurred on December 26, 2004. I was 16 and on my first international scuba diving trip with my parents in Thailand. We had just gotten […]

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Being Lonely in Conservation

I don’t know this for certain, but I am pretty sure that when people in most other walks of life choose their professions, they do not feel the impending doom of choosing their job over proper social interactions and opportunities for relationship building. I know that growing up I never considered the potential for a […]

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Nathan (Escaping Culture)

Story Written by Nathan Leanne  Pinpointing an exact time or reason I’m drawn to conservation is quite impossible; I honestly believe that it really is just an extension of who I am. I was born and raised in rural northern Victoria, the youngest of three boys. From a low-income family living in public housing that […]

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Aaron (Wildflowers)

Story written by Aaron Calidris I lost it all two years ago. I was pursuing my degree in environmental biology at my local university. I was about ¾ of the way through and the end was in sight. I squelched through wetlands and muddy wet pine savannas to discover plants and animals I had never […]

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Impostors of Conservation

Speaking to individuals of the Lonely Conservationist community I am amazed at their knowledge, field skills and general attitude towards conservation. After speaking with them for a while I realise how fortunate I am to be learning so much and having a conversation I know a lot of others would benefit from. It is at […]

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Carolina (Just keep swimming)

Story written by Carolina Gamez Brunswick   My history in biology began when I was little. I think all biologists have that curiosity from childhood and that great love of nature. The moment I realised that I had to study to become a biologist was when I saw a Discovery moment, in which they did […]

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Morgane (Finding love in Costa Rica)

Story by Morgane Ristic My name is Morgane, I’m a French 21-year-old passionate about wildlife conservation. I’ve always loved animals but I was never encouraged to go towards an animal-orientated field as it is not a good money maker… But I was lucky enough to refuse to start higher education without having an idea of […]

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Education or Activism

Story by Nia Jones I’m not quite sure where my passion for the environment started. I have early memories of dragging my parents to a local recycling centre with homemade bins (home recycling wasn’t a thing then) and winning a green ‘Blue Peter’ badge for my letter to the programme about recycling dehumidifier water to […]

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Gina (Know your worth)

Story written by Gina Zanarini I was seven years old. It was career day at school. I walked into class clad head to toe in explorer-like khaki, with a rubber snake draped around my neck and toy lizards glued to the rest of me. I had to explain to my small town teacher not only […]

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Amanda (Wolves lead the way)

Story written by Amanda Gabryszak Early Adventures Sometimes it’s hard for me to identify just where my journey started. Was it when I was a Lion King obsessed toddler? Or the strange wolf dreams I had as a teenager? Did it start with my going vegetarian, or adopting dogs? My best answer is that my […]

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Education and Conservation

A common focus around the discussions I have been having since creating this community has been regarding education. Some people don’t believe they have had enough formal training to identify as a conservationist, some people are trying to figure out which tertiary education path to take to maximise their potential in the field, and others […]

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Louise (The inescapable disaster that was my trip to Indonesia)

Story written by Louise Cordery I left university having completed a zoology degree, full of hopes and dreams of becoming a successful force in the world of conservation. Primates were (are) my great love, lemurs in particular having studied their behaviour for my undergrad thesis. So imagine my absolute elation at being offered a Research […]

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Gabrielle (Better late than never)

Story written by Gabrielle Bradley  My story is one of the joys, and regrets, of coming to Conservation and Land Management at an (cough…) older age. As a child living in suburban Melbourne, my family would often head out into the bush because my Dad loved getting out there, and I still remember him packing […]

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How Lonely Conservationists changed my life

Looking at the Instagram page I created a mere eighteen days ago, I never expected to see the 300 Lonely Conservationists who had joined me in my plight to make conservation a little less lonely. I also never expected to get a message on every single one of those eighteen days thanking me for creating […]

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Moira (Macaques and Masters)

 Story by Moira  Wilputte For as long as I can remember, I have been passionate about animals and the environment. I grew up in a city but had the chance to have grandparents who taught me to love and respect nature. As a teenager, I didn’t really know what I wanted to do but it […]

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A little goes a long way

Imagine a world where you are me and you are sitting on my family couch with my mother and she starts talking to you about McDonald’s straws. -Are you immersed? Good. Because this was the first of two very similar situations I was in where I was about to say the very same thing about […]

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Jade (Love and science)

Story By Jade Arneson I grew up fortunate enough to have a woods, creek, and 40 acres of farm land as my back yard. I spent considerable time outside as a kid. I clearly remember walking through the field and standing atop the hay bales, wandering down to the creek to have a picnic lunch, […]

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Racheal (Zoology Mama)

Story by Racheal Bennett In my imaginary world, I’d write some detailed story behind it all, but realistically I’ll only have 5 minutes to jot something down before having to entertain a 4 year old, get back to work, school or my main focus in Abronia conservation. Since before I could remember, it was all […]

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Jessie (Valuing myself)

Story by Jessie Panazzolo Its a Saturday night and I am sitting around a dinner table having beers and laughing with friends, when all of a sudden I am the victim of an intense interrogation scene. I hear my partner share his frustrations about the way I had been volunteering for an organisation for six […]

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