By Brenden Collett-Grether
Brenden joined ROEP as our first high school intern. We’re delighted with his motivation, intelligence and passion. Brenden is learning field techniques and protocols, and will soon be able to fill in on camera checks for any one of us when we need help, an invaluable addition to our always-busy team of field volunteers. And he is helping launch our elementary education program. Thanks, Brenden!
A little while, and one more wild otter sighting later, my family went over to my neighbor’s house for dinner. While there the conversation turned toward river otters and The River Otter Ecology Project was introduced to me. Volunteering for the ROEP has been a great way to jump into research with an animal I have been curious about, and in the places I love to kayak and hike already.
From a very young age I’ve always had a profound interest and passion for nature and wildlife. I have memorized entire field guides and was the only child I knew that would read animal encyclopedias on a regular basis or wanted to discuss and share information about nature. One of the aspects of volunteering with the River Otter Ecology Project is that I am finally around many like-minded people. Each volunteer is there not because of any job or obligation, but because it is what they want to be doing. The volunteers whom I have had the chance to talk with or join on a trip to check camera traps are just as passionate and motivated as I am about wildlife. I’m looking forward to interacting with more of my fellow volunteers and continue learning from their insight and experience.
Another aspect of volunteering with the River Otter Ecology Project that I’m looking forward to is helping out with watershed education. I’m really excited to have the opportunity to help out with this program and assist in teaching other people about river otters and the importance of the habitats they live in.
I am very thankful that Megan Isadore and the many other ROEP volunteers have welcomed me in as the first teen volunteer. The first excursions out have been amazing, and I am looking forward to every opportunity I can get involved in with the River Otter Ecology Project.