In February 1997 I joined Dr. Rod Sacharnoski's Juko-Kai organization and started my martial arts training in Shorin-ryu karate (Japanese style of Martial Arts). I had been trained by a detective sergeant of a local police department. Come 2001, I made the rank of 1st degree brown belt. Later that year I had to withdraw from the school because it was time for me to head off to college. Once in college I attended a local Hapkido (Korean style of Martial Arts) class for a while. While down in Texas, I have taken up Shotokan Karate, which I hold a white belt in.
I graduated high school back in June 2001 and had decided to head off to a tiny flight school named Daniel Webster College located in Nashua, NH. The reason for flight school was because aviation is my second biggest interest. Exiting high school I was very ignorant in thinking I could not get a good job in the field of wildlife. After two years of flying airplanes and attempting to get through the rigorous flight program filled with math (not one of my gifts), I started doing some research into my true passion, wildlife. I started exiting the flight program and started doing some research. I discovered there are good jobs in the wildlife and environmental field and it was at this time I did an internship with the United States Fish and Wildlife Service. It turned out that the biologist there as well as another intern had both went to the college that I am currently attending and highly recommended going there to pursue any wildlife profession.
I have just graduated with both my BT and AAS degrees in Wildlife Management from SUNY Cobleskill. I had been enrolled there since August 2004. Amongst my many wildlife classes, I was required to take a 15 week course in herpetology (the study of reptiles and amphibians), which of course I loved every second of. I am glad the biologist suggested Cobleskill, because I have learned a lot. In addition to the knowledge I've acquired, I have also had great opportunities such as meeting New York State's head herpetologist. I met the state herpetologist while "spelunking" in the original Howe's Caves (portion closed to tourists). One of my teachers works closely with the company that owns the property as a liaison between the company and the college. My teacher found an old snake skeleton in a portion of the cave and asked the herpetologist to take a look, then asked my class if anybody would like to join them.
A couple of the wildlife jobs I have done during school breaks included working with the Piping plover (New York State endangered species of shore bird) for New York State office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation (also known as New York State Parks) and I did the same work for my local county parks department. Yes I was one of those darn plover people putting up the string fencing on the beaches; sometimes adored for doing so, often disliked. I've also worked with domestic animals at Canine Cosmetician (local pet shop by the college), and Petco. I am currently (january 7, 2008 - August 2008) working for the United States Fish and Wildlife Service as an intern. I've been working with bobcat, sea turtles, and doves. My dream job would be to work as a wildlife biologist specializing in endangered species such as the tiger salamander (NYS Endangered) since my largest interest lies with reptiles and amphibians. The reason behind the endangered species is due to the fact that I have always wanted to help animals and I figured who better to help than those that need it the most (even if it means disrupting humans' recreation time so that another species can survive on this planet; priorities, you know). My dream is to improve populations and habitats of animals and plants of all species. This dream can only be met if humans learn to live cooperatively with nature rather than continue down the destructive path we are currently on. The good news is that the mindset of people is changing for the better. I hope that through my work I will help continue this change.
I have a Species Profile article on Schneider's skinks published in Reptiles Magazine's March 2007 issue as can be seen below. The reason I wrote the article was actually due to my other website, Captive Bred Schneider's skinks. One of the editors at Reptiles Magazine saw my website and asked me if I would be interested in writing the article. She felt there was a lot of useful information and that it was laid out in an easy to understand fashion.
I would like to tribute part of my success to my grandparents. My grandparents helped encourage my interest in wildlife through the trips to the beach as a child growing up, searching for sea creatures (star fish, minnows, horseshoe crabs, crabs, etc.), and also by the conversations I've had with them. They will surely be missed.
My Grandfather - Dec. 7, 2006
My Grandmother - Oct. 28, 2007