Wildlife Vocalizations: Jessica Homyack

Wildlife Vocalizations is a collection of short personal perspectives from people in the field of wildlife sciences.

Measuring stream characteristics in southern Oregon, summer 2018. Credit: Joshua Morell

My definition of success in life and as a biologist is a shapeshifter.  Early in my student and professional career my focus was on education, field experience, and publishing research.  As I’ve moved into mid-career status I focus more on the intangibles – the collaborative relationships, bringing people together and building up the careers of others, expanding my leadership skills, and contributing to a professional culture where all feel valued.  The foundation of well-thought out and disciplined science is there and underpins all I do, but now I truly understand what others mean when they say wildlife conservation “is about the people.”  Success is cultivating the curiosity about the natural world, about people, and all the things that motivate people to weave them into conservation action.  For me, being a successful biologist is not about counting the publications or grant dollars, but it is about leaving a legacy of inclusion and personal growth.

Examining the influence of roadside ditches on spotted turtles, Clemmys guttata, in eastern North Carolina, 2015. Credit: Thomas Gorman

Learn more about Wildlife Vocalizations, and read other contributions.

Submit your story for Wildlife Vocalizations or share the submission form with your peers and colleagues to encourage them to share their story.

For questions, please contact Jamila Blake.

Header Image: Summit of Eagle Cap in the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest, with fellow TWS members Francesca Cafferata-Coe and Jenniffer Bakke, in 2019. Credit: Courtesy of Jessica Homyack