Lonely Conservationists

But together, we aren't so lonely anymore!

Author: Jessie Panazzolo

Hi! I am the founder of Lonely Conservationists and I am a proud conservationist conservationist- someone who works to save those who are saving the world 🌍

Letter to 17-year-old Gargi

Dear 17-year-old Gargi,  I know you are hurt and disappointed that you did not get admitted to a Veterinary School. Your long dream of becoming a Vet was shattered the day you walked out of the University of your choice. Your father, equally disappointed consoled you by saying how other opportunities are waiting…

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Letter to 16-year-old Isobel

Dear 16-year-old Isobel,    I hope you are well and reading this letter somewhere outside in the sunshine with a freshly brewed hot cup of peppermint tea and maybe even a cheeky scotch finger, your favourite! I am writing to you from the future as you might have already suspected. A bit freaky hey!…

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Letter to 15-year-old Stella

Dear 15-year-old Stella,  You are a passionate teenager, introverted and shy, who feels worthless and stupid. Things at school are difficult, pretty girls bully you, you have very few friends, and eat your lunch alone every day locked up in a toilet. Yet you are a hard worker and study hard, partly to…

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Letter to 15-year-old Michael 

Dear little 15-year-old Michael,   I thought I’d reach across the years to you to offer a few gentle words of advice.  My deep apologies that I’ve been so silent for all these years – I guess I got carried away with my own world of projects and explorations.  It’s a really, really big…

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Letter to 15- year-old Maria

To 15- year-old Maria,  6 years wiser now, I have learned so much growing up and there’s a lot I would do differently if I could go back. Remember: the path you have chosen is not an easy one, but the best things in life seldom come easy. Being a girl living in…

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Letter to 15-Year-old Leyna

Dear 15-year-old Leyna,  The numbers that break your heart never end. I know that all the statistics on declining species may be overwhelming. But that does not mean that you are the only one who reads these numbers, listens, cares, and tries to act. I promise you that there are many kids, teenagers,…

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Letter to 15-Year-old Daisy

To 15-year-old Daisy,  School is hell for you right now. Every day you have to get up and face people who are so different to you and shout you down. You feel trapped and stuck. You are surrounded by individuals and groups who pick on you and your values because actually, they are…

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Letter to 14-year-old Praneetha

To 14–year-old Praneetha, I see you opening up. You’re going from an utterly introverted child to making friends everywhere you go. You are trying to fit in, learning how to live your school life to the best, and being inclusive. But, there’s also something else you should know. I know you value honesty…

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Letter to 14-year-old-Kat

Dear 14- year old Kat,  What a wonderful time in your life, coming into an age of discovering who you are and what you want to be doing in life, forming friendships, and learning about the world surrounding you. It’s a magical time of abundance and new ventures. Each day is spent outdoors,…

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Letter to 13-year-old Astrid

Dear 13-year-old Astrid, I am currently writing this letter to you from London, where you have lived for the past couple of months. Over the past five days, you have been self-isolating in your room due to testing positive for the COVID-19 virus, which has spread rapidly worldwide, becoming a global pandemic. This…

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Letter to 10-year-old Gemma

Dear 10-year-old Gemma, I want to start off this short story by saying no matter how hard you try, I think your life will always feel like it is going against the grain compared to everyone else’s. No matter how much you change your views, looks, friends, and passions, there will always be…

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Letter to 11- year- old Laura 

To fifth-grade, 11-year-old Laura, Yes, I’m talking to you, the sweet girl who has her nose buried in books about coral reefs, who cries when her grandpa ate chicken hearts (those poor chickens!) and who recently did a school project on the Great Barrier Reef. I remember when you shuffled into the class…

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Letter to 8-year-old Praneetha

To 8-year-old Chinnu, You are the smartest, most sensitive little girl I have ever come across! It makes sense, too: born to two genius minds and compassionate hearts, you have been treated like a princess and lacked for nothing. It looked perfect; a doting father, an understanding mother, a little brother on the…

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Letter to 8-year-old Patty

Dear 8-year-old Patty, Wow! Looking back at you at just eight years old and filled with such optimism, enthusiasm, and zest for conservation gives me strength and hope. But, before I continue, let me encourage you never to let go of that passion! It will serve you well in the future. Throughout your…

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Letter to 5-year-old Jessie

Dear five-year-old Jessie,  I know you hate being five. I know you sat mum down on the couch in the front living room to tell her that you’re done with this age and are more than ready to be six. But little do you know; I think of you often. It just so…

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Letters to young conservationists- a new blog series

What started as our third book concept for Lonely Conservationists, didn’t quite make it into a handheld cover of pages laden with words and illustrations. You see, just like the rollercoasters of navigating the conservation world, life often puts a spanner in the works and allows us the opportunity to practice being flexible…

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Gareth (My conservation journey so far)

Written by Gareth Davies Hi, I’m Gareth and originally from Gloucester, a semi-rural part of the southwest of the UK, now living and working in New Zealand. I have been interested in nature and also photography from a young age, including my first ever adoption of a duck called Parker (I’m a huge…

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Renuka (A thesis + a job + a family + a cat = a tired and lonely conservationist)

Written by Renuka Kulkarni A few weeks ago, I had a breakdown. Anxiety, a sense of futility and hopelessness about what I do, loneliness; you get it. I reached out to a friend, telling him how starting a PhD all over again felt so tough. This man is blunt, and he told me,…

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Praneetha (Mental Health and Conservation – Where do we draw the line?)

Written by Praneetha M Trigger warning: Suicidal themes As I sat back to write this piece and tell the world about some of my darkest, weakest moments, I had intended to focus on just one particular incident. However, I soon realized that it was a cumulative turn of events and my efforts towards…

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Audrey (Finding myself in college to feeling lost and confused post-graduation)

Written by Audrey Keen In 2017, I began my college career at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. A classic freshman, waiting to meet the stranger I was going to live with in a shoebox-sized room and nervous for what my new life would entail. I never had a huge dream of…

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Rosie (My job does not define me – how to survive as a conservationist)

Written by Rosie Miles When your job involves flying in helicopters, putting collars on darted lions and walking with wild cheetahs it’s hard to convince people that my job is not the most interesting thing about me.  For the most part, I only have a vague idea about what my friends who are…

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Lonely Conservationists 2021 Recap

January The year started off with new possibilities as I met with someone from a brand new socially responsible networking site with the potential to collaborate and earn some money for the work I was doing with Lonely Conservationists. I met with the people behind the software regularly to provide feedback and help…

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Astrid (The road to conserving conservationists)

Written by Astrid Leclézio Nature has always been part of my life. It is my safe place where I have space to think and feel connected to the present moment and the environment. Research has also shown that spending time in nature brings multiple benefits to human wellbeing and mental health. Therefore, after…

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PJ (ZooFit- Helping Conservationists Take Care of Themselves)

Written by PJ Beaven I didn’t know what to do. There I was, living my dream, something I had fought so hard to achieve, but all I could think about was quitting. Fifteen years of blood, sweat, and tears (sometimes literally) were about to go down the drain. I had swum with dolphins, introduced guests…

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Madhushri (Living with a Lack of Sense of Community and a Constant Environmental Guilt)

Written by Madhushri Mudke As conservationists and environmentalists, we feel guilty about our lifestyle choices almost everyday. When we make a choice with the knowledge that we are potentially harming the environment, we feel guilty or unhappy – this feeling is termed ‘Environmental Guilt’. Something as simple as a visit to the market…

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Kate (An opportunity lost, a community gained)

 Written by Kate Stephenson aka Kate on Conservation Back in January 2020, ahead of the most life-changing of events that many of us would ever face — and certainly the most life-changing that we have all faced collectively — an extraordinary thing happened. I entered Terra Incognita’s Travel Writer of the Year competition,…

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Merin (Ants and the importance of conservation-based research)

Written by Merin George “How does your research directly help society?” – is the second most common question I get. I work on forest ants. This question is trickier to answer, especially in my research field, where the effects on society are more indirect. I agree that research, in general, is meant to…

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Jessica (You’re not a hypocrite, you’re a human)

Written by Jessica Myers He found me in front of the bookshelf sitting cross-legged, immersed in one of the many dark blue books entitled SHARKS in a bold, red font. When I wanted to turn some pages, I could choose from fine art books, my DK’s children’s encyclopedia, the Silence of the Lambs…

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Andrea (Grow through what you go through)

Written by Andrea Godoy Mendoza I grew up in a country with a wildly biodiverse and exuberant natural world but where, ironically, starting a conversation about sustainability or conservation will often get you labelled as an idealist or a hippie (at best). I may not have been fully aware of what I was…

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Gemma (Social media conservationist)

Written by Gemma Bruno I’m sure like many other aspiring conservationists, we were weird kids. I was particularly weird and extremely creative. I would spend hours making things for animals like houses, dungeons, mazes, fairy gardens, and occasionally the odd outfit for my cats. Although as a kid I probably traumatised them, I always…

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Tamara (Allow everything to be one big adventure… and try to learn something along the way)

Written by Tamara Kovačič Lonely Conservationists posted a while back that they needed a new photo for their Instagram page. I have quite a few photographs in stock because I am a biologist and have previously had the opportunity to visit many lovely places. So I gave it a go. While browsing through…

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Food for thought: Secrets to a prosperous life in conservation

By Jessie Panazzolo In the early years of Lonely Conservationists, I wrote a number of food for thought blogs, but I haven’t contributed to this string of amazing stories in a long while now. I thought I’d take the time in this lull week to share with you all some insights that I…

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Nicole (Pink river dolphins and black drinking water)

Written by Nicole Lussier A scarlet macaw screeching overhead, a pink river dolphin chasing your boat, a caiman basking in the sun; the flora and fauna of the Amazon Rainforest are truly incredible. The Amazon is, of course, one of the most biodiverse places on earth, with over 1500 species of birds, 430…

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Debanngini (Into the thick of it- Chasing my dream to be an interdisciplinary urban ecologist)

Written by Debanngini Ray When people ask me, how did you end up doing what you do? My usual reply is, “In the morning I chase the butterflies and at night I let the fireflies lead the way!” Growing up in a neighbourhood devoid of tall buildings or infrastructure, surrounded by Assam-type houses…

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Kayla (From a Dream Job to Misery and Back Again)

Written by Kayla Fratt I was fired, effective immediately. Through tears, I listened as the man who’d scouted and hired me for my dream job explained that because I was being let go within a 6-month probationary period of a position change (despite being at the organization for 18 months), I would not…

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Jenna (The Importance of Being Yourself)

Written by Jenna Woodford Where are all the disabled conservationists?  Over the last couple of years, I’ve asked myself this question a lot. Like many people, I’ve searched in vain to find representation in the field I so desperately want to dedicate my career to. And I’ve decided that I’m going to do…

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Natalie (Winding Path to a Clear-ish Destination)

Written by Natalie Tyler I grew up in the Ohio suburbs. As an only child of a single parent, I was often asked to entertain myself and to “go play outside”. Fortunate to have a large backyard, swingset, and basketball hoop, I would happily spend hours outside playing either alone or with my…

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Laura (Pt. 2 “Everything is figure-out-able”)

Written by Laura Marsh My last blog You are enough talked about my severe depression from thinking I had to be a perfect conservationist. It’s paralyzing to learn about all the ways we are harming the planet. But then there’s added pressure to act in the most ethical, perfect way to minimize further…

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Natalie (Colour by nature)

Written by Natalie Lynn Lichtenbert Sitting outside on my front porch, I had a coloring book on my table and a huge box of crayons with a multitude of colors to choose from.  The coloring book of choice was of songbirds and the one I was working on that day was of a…

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Julia (A conservationist in COVID times)

Written by Julia I’ve been working in conservation for over 10 years, one of those who worked up through the ranks by volunteering after my mostly useless humanities BA and work history in administration. I’ve worked in environmental education, project leading, animal rehab (briefly), and research, and I loved it all, but I…

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Gillian (Saying yes works great (until it doesn’t))

Written by Gillian When I was 10 years old, I decided one day that I would no longer be afraid of anything. Spiders no longer meant me harm, heights were just temporary discomfort, and the shadows in the forest should be explored- not feared. All I had to do was just push through…

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Tirth (The Curious Case of ‘Career Loneliness’)

Written by Tirth Vaishnav The idea of being alone is not inherently scary for me. The idea of feeling alone, however, is an entirely different beast. Being the youngest in a joint family of seven and having grown up in Mumbai, one of the most crowded cities in the world, getting some alone…

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Tanya (zero waste diaries)

Written by Tanya Jaswal As a child I was always interested in wildlife. I loved birds, animals and insects around me. I was very comfortable around them. To push my interest a little forward I joined WWF (World Wide Fund) and gained knowledge about birds. How to identify birds by their call, by…

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Phalguni ((Who) to be, and not to be)

Written by Phalguni Ranjan My journey to the field of conservation had a pretty clichéd beginning, now that I think about it. The classic Marine Biologist starter pack had some really simple components back then. Take an enthusiastic 11 year old, throw in some Animal Planet, a devout love for water and animals,…

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Jose (Friends all over)

Written by Jose Sandoval I’ve always had quite an intense personality on me, and I’ve always been driven by passion. Growing up I would bounce around from being obsessed about space and the cosmos to obsessing about snakes and reptiles to obsessing about rocks minerals and geology. Then puberty hit and all I…

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Mel (Advocating for myself)

Written by Mel Christi Acceptance. Resignation. Two sides to the same coin. They have different connotations, and yet for me in this context they are the same. I’ve resigned myself to the fact that there are things about me I cannot change, so I must simply accept myself. Like many others before me…

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Jarryd (Dispare on the coastlines)

Written by Jarryd Minahan Ever since I was a kid I was fascinated with the natural world, the outdoors was my thing, camping with my dad in the high country of Victoria and fishing all around Phillip island, where I now live, was I think what started it all. I started surfing in…

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Jack (Ode to a Curious Life)

Written by Jack O’Connor Just north of one Port Phillip Bay, water and eyes an ocean hew; a newborn child took breath that day, his life had begun new. Jack was his name, of Irish line, before a century’s debut; and so we start our steep incline, into a world fresh and new….

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Lisa (Sea turtle researcher or housemaid?)

Written by Lisa All names in this piece have been altered to protect the identities of the people they are about.  Names are being used for clarity purposes only. I remember accepting my job offer as a sea turtle biologist for the 2020 season. I was jumping with joy over my first paid…

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David (The cost of being a conservationist)

Written by David Aborn I just wanted to provide my perspective on the issue of trying to make it as a conservation biologist in the face of meager (if any) pay, since I have been on both sides; the student looking for experience and the researcher trying to give people the opportunities. I…

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Rhian (My mental health cost me my conservation career but helped me find myself)

Written by Rhian My mental health has defined my life.  It lost me the conservation career I worked so hard for, and yet it’s helped me to grow as a person too.  I only ever tell people parts of my story when I feel overwhelmed, but never the whole thing. So, here goes….

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Renuka (Fearing what I love)

Written by Renuka Kulkarni “Oh, you’re a wildlife person? But don’t you sit in a library all day?” We all have that one aunt/uncle/extended-family-member-you-don’t-remember who can sniff out weaknesses like a bloodhound, and who just never wants to try to understand what you do for a living. “I’m doing a PhD” is a…

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Alexandra (Sharing the Struggles too)

Written by Alexandra Howard Who else has felt that people don’t really understand the hardships of working in conservation?   Or who else is scared to share their struggles publicly as our social media is biased to only sharing happy moments? Recently I had to make a disclaimer on one of my most liked Instagram…

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Fahrizul (My journey is my testimony)

Written by Fahrizul Ikram Hello Friends of conservation, My Name is Fahrizul Ikram, I came from Sumatra precisely in Aceh, Indonesia. Speaking of conservation, I started a career here in 2019. It is quite young, but my journey knows the world of conservation began since 2014. Where is the difficult times for me…

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Dolapo (Unfufilled and nonconforming)

Written by Dolapo Adejumo I grew up in a rural community where I spent the first eight years of my life hearing tales of hunters interacting with local fauna. When I got in front of televisions as well, I’d stay glued to Animal Planet and Natgeo wild. I say my appreciation for the…

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Hannah (Two impossible things)

Written by Hannah Carle This year has been incredibly challenging. The nexus of two impossible things – a PhD and a global pandemic. To start with a caveat – yes, I am fortunate to be living in Australia, where our daily lives have largely returned to ‘normal’ and we have not been marred…

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Stephanie (Conserving yourself and why I think I might owe my life to nature)

Written by Stephanie Rowe Conservation to me, has always meant something deeper than what it represents for the environment as such. I truly believe we are connected to nature, in such a way, that it is only a holistic approach that can be used to move forward with it. I want to take…

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Stella (Living the dream)

Written by Stella Diamant I guess the intent behind this (first) blog is to guide fellow conservationists about getting your mission out there in a balanced way.  I was lucky to seize a unique opportunity, to build a project from scratch on an emblematic species, the whale shark, without any experience in either…

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Roxanne (Telling Everybody)

Written by Roxanne In my previous blog, Born This Way, I gave a summary on my path in the conservation sector with the rare neurological condition, Chiari Malformation.  I wrote about the difficult aspects of managing a disability in a physically demanding profession, as well as actions to progress in a field I…

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Madhushri (What no one tells you about careers in wildlife)

Written by Madhushri Mudke Ten years ago, the dilemma of finding an appropriate career in wildlife that allowed me to ‘work with wildlife’ was a daunting path to take. One begins to ruminate – ‘I love animals’, ‘I love being in the wild’ or ‘We must save wildlife and forests to combat climate…

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Jordan (Living in a bubble of acceptance)

Written by Jordan Gledhill Ask a conservationist why they work in conservation and most will tell you it is because they care. We care for the natural world and we care that in most cases, it is being destroyed. Yes, we get to enjoy ourselves traveling the world, working in tropical jungles, diving…

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Lonely Conservationists 2020 Recap

January  I started off this year with a new zest for what was possible as I headed out to the smoke covered field with a fellow LC (and entomologist) where we worked day and night to study the birds and insects on an agricultural property for a….wait for it…paying client! Feeling valued for…

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My stigma turned strength

Written by Jessie Panazzolo I talk in the book and in the podcast about how I have always battled the stigma with mental health in the conservation industry. I know as much as anyone what its like to want to be the most resilient and tough conservationist in the field. I am also…

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Roxanne (Born this way)

Written by Roxanne The Early Years My passion for conservation, like many, has its roots in early childhood.  It was watching the well-known presenters like Steve Irwin and David Attenborough, but before Animal Planet was reality show-centric, there were others I enjoyed and learned from.  They were reptile enthusiast and photographer, Austin Stevens;…

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Manon (know your worth)

Written by Manon de Visser Young and maybe a little naïve: that is what makes us great conservationists!   Once, I was at a job interview. I was nicely dressed and felt pretty confident. I had gotten through two rounds and was in the third (and final) round of the application process. The first…

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Heather (If you do anything to conserve, you are a conservationist)

Written by Heather Kerrison Is there a light at the end of the tunnel? Are you getting there slowly but surely? In the end the conservation industry gives us the opportunity to meet some amazing people, some amazing wildlife and do things that most other people will never do. What is the thing…

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Jennifer (Tribute to Max)

Written by Jennifer L. Hartman I am coming up on my 15 year marker working in the field of conservation biology, surveying for sensitive species all over the world. The work has been gruelling and gritty and for those of us in this field, it is often a solitary toil. But for me,…

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Michela ( Bush therapy)

Written by Michela Fieni There is no worse feeling than seeing all the environmental destruction in the world and wanting to make a positive contribution, but barely having the means to do so. I’m lucky enough to live in Australia, where bush regeneration was basically born. Back in 2015 when the ‘Green Army’…

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Jamie (Finding your identity in a crowded sector )

Written by Jamie Sneddon My Name is Jamie and I’m a zoologist/conservationist/field biologist/ecologist/scientist/clueless graduate with a sense of identity crisis. The issue of who/what I am is something that I’ve been struggling with for much of my life and definitely my entire career. People don’t like being pigeonholed but there’s a sense of…

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Lisa (A Detour To Finding Your Place)

Written by Lisa Clark From Psychology, to Social Work, to… Wildlife and Conservation Biology? I took a bit of a detour to get here, but it’s funny how things work out and you can end up where you thought you would as a child. My first undergraduate degree was a Bachelor of Social…

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Isobel (Curiouser and curiouser)

Written by Isobel Bobbera This one’s rather long, so apologies in advance. I grew up and have spent the 23 years of my so far little life on The Bellarine Peninsula south of Melbourne, Australia. I’ve lived with my family on the same block of land my entire life and wouldn’t change it…

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Nishand 2 (The missing path)

Written by Nishand Venugopal Trying to stay afloat with unfulfilled wishes, But can’t forget those that went into the drain while washing dishes, Almost a year ago we felt the entire world is in our grasps, In the last few months people are struggling for gasps, A disease that took a toll on…

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Connie (A burnt out conservationist)

Written by Connie James I have wanted to work in wildlife conservation for as long as I can remember. It’s all I’ve been working towards for years. When I was finishing up my degree I remember thinking to myself ‘no matter how much I am struggling right now, everything will be worth it…

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Sapphire (Lorises and roller-coasters)

Written by Sapphire Hampshire Photo by Wawan Tarniwan Java, Indonesia. October 2017. You’re on a mountain, a steep mountain, its 4am, you wake to the sound of the call to prayer from the mosques echoing down the mountain. You drift back into a light sleep waking up again later to the revving of…

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Sophia (The empowering and saddening experience of being a conservationist)

Written by Sophia Neiblum To be honest, I wasn’t sure whether I should write a blog post. I’m in high school and haven’t had nearly as much experience in conservation as many others. But I ultimately decided that my experience, although limited, is unique in some way. My name is Sophia Neiblum, and…

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Juan (Finding work outside the capital)

Written by Juan Cruz Mena Translated by Maria Dabrowski  Personally, my official career hasn’t even begun. I have been lucky since I was a child to involve myself in conservation organizations, where I could become a partner and volunteer in other Argentinian provinces. But the downsides of leaving to work for an conservation…

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Abigail (Finding Home)

Written by Abigail Smyth The idea of home has always been really tough for me. Growing up in South Sudan, where my parents worked rehabilitating refugees, I was very much a ‘free range kid’. Running barefoot across murram roads, splashing in monsoon puddles and sculpting creatures out of clay dug from the earth,…

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Emmi (Emmi the Lonely Conservationist)

Written by Emmi Losasso Firstly, I should say that I can’t ever manage to put things into short words so this will be a long introduction to me and how I got to where I am now. Settle in with a cup of tea on a comfy couch and turn on some songs…

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Laura (PART 1. You are enough)

Written by Laura Marsh First of all, I’m so glad this community exists. I love that there is a platform where we can post our thoughts and feelings about environmental concerns in a vulnerable, honestly raw way. My story comes from a place of desperation. Desperate for a career I felt passionate about,…

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The return of loneliness

Written by Jessie Panazzolo I have come once again as a lonely conservationist to share my frustrations with you on the blog. I say that I come as a lonely conservationist because I often feel like members of the community forget that I founded this community on being lonely in conservation myself. I…

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Annabel (Listening to Pain)

By Annabel The Beginning My childhood was fairly typical of a privileged conservationist; I grew up surrounded by nature and had the opportunity to pursue my passion with a supportive family and access to a good education. But at seventeen my life changed. I developed chronic pain. My pain started, for some unknown…

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Phil (From refuge to responsibility)

Written by Phil McNamara It’s interesting to me that, as a child, I came to love spending time in nature as a way to avoid conflict at home and that the same love I have for nature is now forcing me to face my fear of conflict because conflict is everywhere in our…

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Matthew (Becoming visible)

Written by Matthew Lefoe I wanted to submit a blog to see if it would have some sort of cathartic effect on me as I’ve been feeling quite disheartened about my career progression amidst the craziness of COVID-19. In this industry we are conditioned to be constantly networking/up-skilling/career building in order to be…

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Chagi (Getting there)

Written by Chagi Weerasena Hello! My name is Chagi and I’m an ecologist in Brisbane, Australia. My path to becoming an ecologist was not a straight one, it was very much a zig-zig, or a squiggle. I am a first-generation immigrant of Sri Lankan parents. From a young age I was given medical…

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Amber (Biology to maths and back again)

Written by Amber Wyard “What made you switch from maths to biology? That’s such a big change!” This is something that has been said to me hundreds of times. I never seem to know how to answer this as wildlife conservation has always been my passion and so for me there’s no surprise…

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Steph (There are many ways to skin a cat)

Written by Steph Robertson Hello fellow Lonely Conservationists! My name is Steph, I’m a 25-year old zoology graduate who has just finished up having the literal year-of-my-life! My road to where I am has been a rocky one and as it turns out, it still is! But I have hope, and as my…

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Emilie (Lonely to “un lonely”)

Written by Emilie Priou My name is Emilie Priou and at 21 I just completed my Wildlife Conservation Bachelor. I lived until I was 18 in the suburbs of Paris, and with my parents and sister I had the chance to travel every year abroad to discover nature worldwide. In high school, like…

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Jon (On Imperfection)

Written by Jon Kahler I can’t say that I had a very unique upbringing. Raised in suburban Brisbane in an upper middle-class family, there was nothing exceptional about my childhood. My family was never very environmental, and between my ten fingers not one of them were green. However, my parents always placed a…

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Wrap it all up in a bow

Written by Jessie Panazzolo It is quite evident that I haven’t written a food for thought blog in a while, having in fact written a total of zero for this year. Today however, I was inspired to get back to the roots of this community and share how I feel about my role…

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Jessica (Finding your voice and making a difference)

Written by Jessica Pinder Growing up Green It could be easily said that I became a conservationist because so much of my childhood was spent outdoors. Quite literally. Almost all our family holidays usually involved swimming in crystal clear rivers, hiking through bushland heavy with the sounds of cicadas or cross-country skiing across…

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Elena (For the Shihuahuaco)

Written by Elena Chaboteaux  Hi, my name is Elena Chaboteaux and I’m a 24 years old conservationist from Italy. As far as I remember I’ve always been obsessed with plants and wildlife. I grew up camping with my mum looking for “treasures” in the forest and I’m so grateful my passion has now…

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James (This is my voice, a black voice, and I’m not sorry about it)

Written by James Lee It is obviously a time of unease in America with regards to treatment of racial minorities. Whether it be a young jogger shot like a dog in the street in Georgia, or a man having his neck crushed by a police officer in Minneapolis, or a birder having the…

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Taylor (Resilient more than determined)

Written by Taylor Tvede I’ve wanted to work with animals since I was a kid, but in my mind that always meant something like dolphin trainer or the person at the zoo who did the bird shows and got to teach everyone neat things about cool animals. Being a vet was an option…

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Ana (For the Sea)

Written by Ana Willett I think out of anyone, I understand impostor syndrome on such a deeply profound level it’s disturbing. My name is Ana Willett, and I am a marine conservation policy contractor. There…for lack of better phrasing, is not a lot of work in this field in the D.C. area. You…

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Rhys (The Conservation Conversation)

Written by Rhys Abbott As many of you know too well, conservation can feel like an uphill battle; often lonely, and without community support, it can be overwhelmingly deflating. But would you ever give up? Heck no. It is without a doubt a massive challenge to overcome the environmental pressures that humanity places…

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Macie (My current mental state)

Written by Macie Edwards A friend recently sent me an article about an online community called Lonely Conservationists, a group that I was surprised to have never heard of before, as the name itself was immediately relatable. I read this article with a tight throat, choking back tears. It is so reflective of…

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Gabrielle (My father would be proud)

Written by Gabrielle DiVello My name is Gabrielle DiVello. I am 23 years old and I was born and raised in Southern New Jersey surrounded by the beaches, mountains, and the city -which is why New Jersey is called the “Armpit State.” My family has owned a vacation house in Maine, outside of…

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Drew (The bug guy)

Written by Drew Seiler There it was, Phidippus audax, the Bold Jumper, zig-zagging its way across the handrail of our backyard deck. Its movements were jittery, mesmerising, and any movement on my own behalf caused the little male to spin and look up at me with his two large eyes beset three other…

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Nick (The beauty of rock bottom)

Written by Nicholas Horne I started this blog nearly 6 months ago, I really wanted to contribute to the Lonely Conservationists as I feel it’s an exceptional idea that can promote so much positivity. However, it has been extremely difficult to write about my past experiences. So why did am I back writing…

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Katy (The best adventurer)

Written by Katy Keighley I wasn’t initially going to submit a blog as my story is only just beginning. However, I thought that there’s no harm in sharing the first drafts of life. My name is Katy and I’m a 20 year old BSci Animal Biology and Conservation undergrad, graduating in June this…

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