Good Morning everyone, Frank Robb here. I encouraged our EEARSS Intern Rebecca Hallanan to start writing a blog of her experiences as an intern with us. I hope this will be one of many posts from her in the future. I am so very proud of this lady and the work she is doing. So here we go with Blog #1.
- From a young age, I was an “animal person”. It was clear to everyone in my life (even when, at times, it wasn’t clear to myself) that my passion and purpose in life was heading towards a career with creatures.
- I started out fostering kittens, and eventually moved onto shelter work, volunteering in Titusville and working with the behaviorist at the SPCA training dogs. From there, after graduating in 2020 from Westshore Jr. Sr. with both my high school diploma and my Associate degree from Eastern Florida State College, I began my work in the veterinary field.
- I was a vet assistant for over a year, and a pre-vet biology student at UCF. At some point, I hit a roadblock. I was struggling in my personal life, I had burnt out my passion for animals, and I had changed my major to pre-law. It was something I had interest in, but just didn’t feel right.
- After a chance meeting at the golf course I was bartending at, when I had expressed my love for a resident alligator, someone passed along Frank’s number to me just as “a friend who works with gators” (I had no idea until I met him, Frank is that and a whole world more).
- A few months later, it was a humid morning in December 2022, and I was out with Frank and a few EEARSS board members checking wildlife survey boxes in Fox Lake park. From this one day I was hooked. I went home and changed my major back to Biology, with a track for Ecology and Conservation.
- I started going out on these trips more often to do wildlife surveying. I got to know Frank, an amazing man who is not only an educated, passionate expert in his field, but also a fantastic mentor, blessing and friend. I was introduced to the board members of EEARSS, all people who shared an amazing passion for wildlife, who I could look up to, and who I continue to learn from with every board meeting.
- At the time of writing this, I have accompanied Frank and others to wildlife surveys in Fox Lake Park, Kars Park, and the Enchanted Forest. I have gone to Belize to meet the founder and members of the Crocodile Research Coalition. I have flown to Maryland to get a first hand experience at what wildlife conservation work entails, even in strange circumstances.
- These, and future adventures, will continue to be detailed in this blog. Without Frank and EEARSS, it is not an exaggeration to say I would be lost in life. This truly feels like a once-in-a-lifetime chance I was gifted. The path I am on with Frank as my mentor is one I was always meant to be on. The internship opportunity has taught me, and will continue to teach me, how I can take this passion and love I have for animals and wildlife and use it to make the world a better place.
Along the way, I’m sure there will be plenty more adventures to tell about (between physics
classes at UCF and my serving jobs) that I hope you will follow along with!
Come along for the ride with us!
- Rebecca Hallanan, 1 year EEARSS Intern