Wildlife Vocalizations: Michael Menon

Menon discusses how you should never give up on your dream, regardless of age or background

I was fortunate enough to raise the money needed to study abroad in my final undergraduate semester. I had also just taken a course the previous semester that introduced me to Aldo Leopold for the first time. Leopold’s book “Think Like a Mountain” resonated with me, and my curiosity to explore conservation and wildlife ecology was set aflame—perhaps like the green flame Leopold wrote about.

My study abroad program took place in New Zealand. I explored sustaining human societies and the natural environment through a field-based approach, using New Zealand’s amazing natural areas as my classroom. The hook was set. From reading Leopold and walking the tracks of New Zealand’s Southern Alps, I knew that I wanted to do something in natural resources.

Courtesy of Michael Menon

However, upon my return to the U.S., the reality of life and needing to find a job took me on an alternative path. Fortunately, several years later, I find myself fulfilling my dreams of working in natural resources as I pursue my master’s at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and plan to earn my PhD as well.

Don’t let your dreams die. With a little determination, hard work and an opportunity from good-hearted people in the industry; working in wildlife and natural resources can be achieved regardless of age and background.

Courtesy of Michael Menon

Wildlife Vocalizations is a collection of short personal perspectives from people in the field of wildlife sciences. Learn more about Wildlife Vocalizations, and read other contributions.

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Header Image: Courtesy of Michael Menon