• 04-17-2017
    Harold
    Looks like I'm going to be taking a new job soon
    Just seasonal with crap pay, but it's actually in my field. I'm not a fan of the rate this stuff has been going (I have begun to look outside of the industry I studied for throughout school, in fact). 36yrs old with a master's degree and doing seasonal work for less than $10/hr and no benefits doesn't make me all that happy. At least my wife makes enough that I have the luxury of taking something with low pay.

    But on the plus side, I'll be educating kids and adults about wildlife (birds in particular). I'll be trained tocare for, handle, and work with the permanently injured raptors at the nature center. Birds ranging from a big turkey vulture to a couple different hawks to the northern screech owl. And I'll be running periodic instructional programs. Maybe it helps me catapult into something better after this, because I doubt there's going to be any opportunity for advancement at this nature center. This is the kind of work people do until they're almost dead, and I'm pretty sure that both supervisors who interviewed me are younger than I am (and I also have my doubts that either has more than a bachelor's degree, either).

    It's relevant to commuting because the distance from home is going to drop my annual commute miles quite a bit. I may not commute at all. It's about 20mi one way, which isn't the farthest I've ridden, but it passes through a part of the city where there really aren't many good routes to ride. Commute times each way look to be in the 2hr neighborhood according to Google maps, which seems to run off a slower avg speed than I tend to ride. But assume I cut half an hour off that time (my avg speed is around 15mph on my commutes, it seems), it's still a lot of time to spend on the commute when I'd rather go mountain biking if given the opportunity. When it looks like the drive time with decent traffic will be a touch under half an hour, that extra 2hrs of travel time every day hurts. Public transit isn't even an option. It's slower than riding my bike when you account for all the bus switches I'd have to do (and the fact that there'd be at least part of the stretch I'd still have to do by bike). So even doing a partial bus commute isn't going to happen. My city never got into the park n ride thing, either, so there's not really any good place for me to drive part way, park, then ride.
  • 04-18-2017
    AVL-MTB
    What is your Master's in, if I may ask?

    I too, after 10 years at one job, am getting a new job in two weeks. Excited and nervous.
  • 04-18-2017
    Bhaalgorn
    Congrats on the new job! Hope things keep trending up for you!

    It might still be possible to commute by bike. My commute is about 20 miles. To drive is ~40 minutes with traffic. To ride is 50-60 minutes (~20mph), but I definitely need a shower when I get to work. I bring my work clothes earlier in the week.
  • 04-18-2017
    Volsung
    I dunno how often they hire, but maybe keep an eye on https://www.raptor.umn.edu
  • 04-18-2017
    Harold
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by AshevilleMTB View Post
    What is your Master's in, if I may ask?

    I too, after 10 years at one job, am getting a new job in two weeks. Excited and nervous.

    MS in environmental science, but my thesis research was more spatial ecology related. Minor in spatial science. BA in biology. My state is a bit of a black hole for jobs I'm qualified for with that degree. I've been looking at other stuff I might be qualified to do in other industries, and it seems like certain ag types of jobs (particularly with operations that aren't industrial farming) are decent fits. I have a friend who works for a high end furniture company in a different city where all their stuff is handmade and I'd totally apprentice somewhere like that, too. I've tried for some ag jobs. Interviewed for one a few months ago, but that one had some wacky additional stuff on top of the ag and education (nonprofit urban farming org that runs a farm stand and several small farms around the city) like yoga/mindfulness work. I got beat out for that. I have a resume out for a new vineyard/winery and they seem like they're TRYING to ignore me, so I'm ignoring them.

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Bhaalgorn View Post
    Congrats on the new job! Hope things keep trending up for you!

    It might still be possible to commute by bike. My commute is about 20 miles. To drive is ~40 minutes with traffic. To ride is 50-60 minutes (~20mph), but I definitely need a shower when I get to work. I bring my work clothes earlier in the week.

    I don't think it's feasible for me to ride frequently if at all. The distance is less the issue. It's the time. It's not like I'd be on open country roads where I can just drop the hammer. I'd be riding from one side of the city to the opposite, so frequent intersections and stops. I'd be looking at 1.5hrs each way most likely. No shower at the destination, either. And couple that to the fact that there are some areas with poor routes I'd have to pass through, and it wouldn't be a relaxing ride, either. I mapped out a route that would avoid as many of the poor routes as possible, and it sent me up the busiest MUP and through the busiest section of that MUP, further slowing me. On a side note, it looks like that MUP is getting repaved and widened by 4ft next summer. All ~10mi of it through the city. A neighboring city the trail passes through is doing an even more complex upgrade of a shorter segment of busy trail by creating an "express" bike route through the area for people who aren't stopping at one of the businesses along that stretch. The construction wouldn't affect the commute this summer, but if I am still doing this a year from now, it would.

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Volsung View Post
    I dunno how often they hire, but maybe keep an eye on https://www.raptor.umn.edu

    Relocating is frankly not going to happen unless my wife finds something SHE likes first. Her earning potential is many times that of mine. So she's the one that says if she wants to relocate or not and starts the process. I can direct it some, but not a whole lot. The best jobs for me are in BFE, and the best ones for her are in cities. A compromise between those things is extraordinarily difficult to find. We're able to do fine if she's the one that has the right job and I'm the one doing part time/seasonal work. If that were switched around, we'd be below the poverty line most likely. At this point, we've done enough big moves that we don't intend to do it again unless the perfect destination came up. Jobs would be but one factor in that. It would have to be a place for sure that had more public land nearby, more mtb close by, and a cost of living that didn't outpace what we actually earned there. That's another that's extraordinarily tough to find.
  • 04-18-2017
    Co-opski
    Congrats Harold. I used to work/volunteer at REGI (Raptor Education Group) when I lived in Rhinelander WI. One of the most rewarding jobs I've had.
    Raptor Education Group, Inc.
  • 04-18-2017
    leeboh
    Job aside, there are usually options for multi modal. Train part way? 1 long bus part way? Bike store you could park the car at and then pedal? Shower? I use a sink. Or see if there is a gym/ymca type place nearby for shower availability.
  • 04-18-2017
    NDD
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Harold View Post
    My state is a bit of a black hole for jobs I'm qualified for with that degree.

    That's why I'm taking a seasonal job in the northern part of your state, getting done, and heading off (sorry). But I study/work in plant ecology, so I think those jobs are more abundant. One of the field techs I'll be working with just got her M.S. in wildlife biology, so they hire wildlife folk for veg monitoring jobs if that holds any interest to you. If you got certified to use herbicides, then you could probably get veg control jobs hitting ditches with herbicide and cutting honeysuckle.

    Really, though I hope you enjoy your job. I think it's awesome that you have the luxury to take jobs with crap pay because you would enjoy the work. Me and my old lady are both ecology/conservation minded folks, so I'm feeling like the next 10 - 15 years are going to be pretty tight. Coming out of a Master's program, I'm looking at taking a job with good pay (on my scale...) for 4 - 6 months and then probably heading down to SE Missouri to be with my then wife, where I can probably get a job working duck draws from Oct - Jan/Feb, but it'll pay close to Missouri minimum wage (oof). But I also recognize this is something I chose to do, because I turned down a PhD position recently.

    Harold, would you recommend I find myself a sugar momma? I imagine she might actually have higher earning potential, because she works in agriculture related soil/water conservation.
  • 04-18-2017
    Harold
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by leeboh View Post
    Job aside, there are usually options for multi modal. Train part way? 1 long bus part way? Bike store you could park the car at and then pedal? Shower? I use a sink. Or see if there is a gym/ymca type place nearby for shower availability.

    Nope. As I said before, the bus here is slower than biking and so using it as a multi modal option isn't going to help any. It's better suited for long trips. Our public transit WILL be getting major improvements soon, and a bus rapid transit line will eventually get built that would include part of my route. But it was SUPPOSED to get built with a combo of federal and local funds. Now it looks like it will be local funds only most likely, so construction will take even longer. Maybe in a decade or so, there will be an additional BRT line that I could use to cover maybe 2/3 of this route. But yeah, none of those things are happening soon enough to make a difference.
  • 04-18-2017
    Harold
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by NDD View Post
    That's why I'm taking a seasonal job in the northern part of your state, getting done, and heading off (sorry). But I study/work in plant ecology, so I think those jobs are more abundant. One of the field techs I'll be working with just got her M.S. in wildlife biology, so they hire wildlife folk for veg monitoring jobs if that holds any interest to you. If you got certified to use herbicides, then you could probably get veg control jobs hitting ditches with herbicide and cutting honeysuckle.

    Really, though I hope you enjoy your job. I think it's awesome that you have the luxury to take jobs with crap pay because you would enjoy the work. Me and my old lady are both ecology/conservation minded folks, so I'm feeling like the next 10 - 15 years are going to be pretty tight. Coming out of a Master's program, I'm looking at taking a job with good pay (on my scale...) for 4 - 6 months and then probably heading down to SE Missouri to be with my then wife, where I can probably get a job working duck draws from Oct - Jan/Feb, but it'll pay close to Missouri minimum wage (oof). But I also recognize this is something I chose to do, because I turned down a PhD position recently.

    Harold, would you recommend I find myself a sugar momma? I imagine she might actually have higher earning potential, because she works in agriculture related soil/water conservation.

    Yeah, wildlife biologists DO usually get a good bit of education and experience with veg work. I was supposed to get some, but my cancer diagnosis during grad school screwed those plans up because of the time restrictions on the grant that funded my research. That was expired before I could do any veg sampling. I had to adjust my project to account for that, which is why I examined landscape scale veg from LANDSAT time series imagery.

    I hope I enjoy it, too, because the pay really does suck. I stopped by to fill out paperwork this afternoon. They've got 7 raptors there. I won't be working with the largest and most difficult ones, most likely (apparently the turkey vulture is most challenging because it has imprinted on people and REALLY wants human contact). But definitely the screech owl and American kestrel and probably the smaller hawks, too, though the red-shouldered hawk is also a handful. Maybe the barred owl, but it needs more training before other people work with it.
  • 04-18-2017
    NDD
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Harold View Post
    apparently the turkey vulture is most challenging because it has imprinted on people and REALLY wants human contact

    Wow, I've never heard of such a thing. I know some people that volunteer at a wildlife rehab center. There is apparently one type of bird that will whoop anybody who tries to handle it (maybe an egret?) and I've heard of stories of them having to wrestle them to shove a feeding tube down their throat.

    Funny thing, they also save squirrels at that place. Normal old gray squirrels. I guess they think they'll get public backlash or something if they don't. One person I know volunteered there on the first day and said "oh cool do you feed these squirrels to the owls?". The woman in charge was not impressed.
  • 04-18-2017
    Harold
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by NDD View Post
    they think they'll get public backlash or something if they don't

    Yes, that's a thing. When I worked for the USFS, they'd have to do stuff like that because the risk of public backlash from the bunny huggers for NOT doing it was too high. This nature center, thankfully, isn't a place that does the rescuing. They are one potential place that injured birds who have been through that process might go. They're getting new raptor enclosures this summer that will be easier to clean and with better environmental controls so they don't have to bring the birds inside in the wintertime.
  • 06-25-2017
    Buster Bluth
    Get a haircut and get a real job.
  • 06-26-2017
    Harold
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Buster Bluth View Post
    Get a haircut and get a real job.

    dafuq?
  • 06-26-2017
    Buster Bluth
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Harold View Post
    dafuq?

    Nothing personal. Just quoting the song.
  • 06-26-2017
    Buster Bluth
    Was that George thoroughgood?
  • 06-26-2017
    Harold
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Buster Bluth View Post
    Nothing personal. Just quoting the song.

    I was hoping so...but wasn't sure.

    Love the new gig, at any rate. Training owls is pretty f'ing cool, and prob my favorite part so far.

    Would be nice if there was a better bike commute route, but oh well.

    Sent from my SM-G900V using Tapatalk
  • 06-26-2017
    Buster Bluth
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Harold View Post
    I was hoping so...but wasn't sure.

    Love the new gig, at any rate. Training owls is pretty f'ing cool, and prob my favorite part so far.

    Would be nice if there was a better bike commute route, but oh well.

    Sent from my SM-G900V using Tapatalk

    Ha yeah my comment was kind of obscure. Sounds like a great job. Mind you I am an accountant so you can guess why I'd be envious.
  • 06-26-2017
    Harold
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Buster Bluth View Post
    Ha yeah my comment was kind of obscure. Sounds like a great job. Mind you I am an accountant so you can guess why I'd be envious.

    Maybe I shouldn't mention how much time I get to spend outside and teaching people about birds and nature in general.

    Sent from my SM-G900V using Tapatalk
  • 06-26-2017
    Volsung
    If you enjoy it that much it definitely doesn't sound like a real job.
  • 06-26-2017
    chazpat
    Still waiting on some photos in the bird thread.:D
  • 06-26-2017
    BrianMc
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Volsung View Post
    If you enjoy it that much it definitely doesn't sound like a real job.

    When you love your work, it's a career, and not a job!
  • 06-26-2017
    Harold
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by chazpat View Post
    Still waiting on some photos in the bird thread.:D

    I spend too much time doing actual work to take a bunch of pictures. I am not handling any birds yet, but when I do, I'll get some pictures.

    Today I was helping manage about 50 volunteers from Wild Birds Unlimited's corporate service project day. Their annual meeting is in town this week, and today was all volunteer work. Got a lot done, but man, I'm tired.