Friday, February 15, 2019

How Birding Helps your Career

We previously posted a few quick notes on how Birding can help students of all ages ranging from Elementary and High School, through to College and University.  In his wonderful book Letters to a Young Scientist EO Wilson suggests that because our society is developing along Scientific and Technological lines that for the foreseeable future there will be a demand for education and jobs in the sciences and innovation.  This means an interest in the sciences, in mathematics, in computing and in technology all provide you with the passion to excel and have a career in the world today! This also means that a simple interest in the outdoors, in nature, and in birding can one day provide you with the passion and skills to develop your career.  (I say this as someone who would never have guessed that a love of seeing birds on the feeder or playing in the forest could lead me to being a professional researcher and ornithologist at Bird Studies Canada!)

More than just serving as a basis for a profession the Sciences are essential for important discoveries.  Despite the popular belief that “all is known” or that “everything is online” the fact is that there are new discoveries being made all the time.  Perhaps we don’t hear about them because it might seem that finding a new microbe or new species of butterfly does not seem important, or perhaps biology just doesn’t seem dramatic compared to say a superhero movie but small discoveries often lead to the most astounding findings and changes in our society.  Looked at another way this means that no contribution to the sciences and to human knowledge is too small or insignificant.  All exploration and science has a purpose and each of us as a place in contributing to it!  Besides there is still tons even about this planet that we don’t know, and there is lots left to explore and discover – especially here in Canada.  There is, after all, always a need for curiosity, for risk taking, and to explore. For all of these reasons and more the Sciences are among the most exciting fields to be passionate about, have as a hobby, or to develop a career in.

Even if you don’t necessarily want a career in the formal sciences, just an interest nature can transform your time outdoors, lead to worthwhile volunteer experiences, strengthen connections to people with similar interests, can provide you with work experience, and develop your skills beyond those learned only from books and classrooms.  In other words, even if you do not end up working in the sciences the experiences you can gain from your interest in them often lead to indirect benefits!  Such unrelated interests and indirect benefits are particularly important in today’s world.  Dissimilar interests are what spur curiosity and leaps of faith that transform our society.  More than that, with the rate of progress in our word, it means that both traditional disciplines and jobs are constantly change meaning that what we might see today as a collection of unrelated experiences will translate tomorrow into providing new insights into emerging fields of study or investments.  No experience in nature is without value.

Time spent exploring the outdoors provides each of us with realistic understanding of the real world.  In addition, time in nature often serves to reveal and develop each person’s passions, which once identified can lead each of us in our own true directions.  In other words, an interest in birding, time spent watching varying species, filling our feeders, or reporting our sightings all benefit you and your career – whether directly or indirectly!  Isn’t it amazing, as the famous ornithologist Noah Strycker might suggest, what these “Things with Feathers” can do for us, who they can lead us to meet, or what direction they can send our lives and careers?  Get out and enjoy the birds in your neighbourhood today!

See you on the trail....


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