MRBO Field Assistant Andrea presents her own research at Alaska conference!

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by Andrea Ambrose
In the summer of 2012, while working as a rehabilitation intern at Tri-State Bird Rescue & Research, I was made aware of an opportunity with their oil spill response team. Every few years Tri-State conducts research to test new products that are on the market to determine their effectiveness at removing oil from wildlife in response situations, and I was offered an internship for the Fall of 2012 to test these products. What followed was a three year project that was immensely rewarding and afforded me the opportunity to learn many new skills and meet many amazing people in the field. While conducting the research I was also trained in oil spill response, learning how to wash and care for oiled birds in their facility. I used the research as an internship for school and a senior project, creating a scientific poster from the results and presenting it at an all science poster session.IMG_5139

I wrapped up the final paper from the research in 2015 while working in Missouri with MRBO, and was approved to go to Anchorage, Alaska to present my findings at the 2015 Effects of Oil on Wildlife Conference, which is held every few years in a different location. The oil spill response community is a tightly knit family of organizations from around the world, and I was able to meet many of these people throughout the week at the conference.

IMG_5154Every day there were sessions with panels of people presenting research on a variety of different cutting edge topics, and I presented with three other people whose research was similar in some way to mine. I made a few contacts while I was there, with people who are going to be doing similar research in the future, with the possibility of helping out on some of these projects. It is definitely something that I would like to continue with in some capacity, possibly doing more research for Tri-State or even another organization. I was able to sneak away a few times to walk a local trail in downtown Anchorage, and although I didn’t get to see a moose, (I’ve never seen one!) I did get to see a few bird species that were new to me, and I am hooked on this beautiful place even after seeing such a very small part of it. I can’t wait to plan my next trip to Alaska, whether it be for a job in this awesome career that I’ve chosen, or for a quick vacation when time allows.

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Andrea is with MRBO for seven months this year, working on our grassland surveys and banding stations.

 

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