Meet a fish biologist from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
It’s been said we become what catches us unawares. Angela Palacios James, a fish biologist at the New Mexico Fish and Wildlife Conservation Office, was caught by the Missouri Department of Conservation in its endeavor to reach inner-city youth in Kansas City. At age 17, she landed a summer job as a Conservation Aide that afforded copious field experience. It was with the help of her father, says James, that through his diligence that she got to her summer job every day, 50 minutes from home.
Though it was toward a doctor of veterinary medicine degree she first steered in college, she eventually majored in Renewable Natural Resources at the University of Arizona. In college, she learned to track javelina with radio telemetry, handle live raptors, and care for amphibians and reptiles.
Presently, James maintains aquaculture facilities in her Albuquerque office and in the field she assists with population surveys of fishes in rivers throughout New Mexico, from Gila trout to Colorado pikeminnow.
There are no bad days,” says James. “I can feed fish in the morning, maintain tank systems, and spend time in the rivers or in classrooms with young students.
James is the lead biologist in her office for education activities, such as Native Fish in the Classroom. Children in area schools learn about native New Mexican fishes under James’ tutelage by raising them in aquaria where they watch them live and grow, daily. And who knows, maybe one of the youngsters will be caught unawares by James’ work and steer toward a career in conservation, too.
Learn more about the work of Angela Palacio James, here: www.fws.gov/southwest/fisheries/nmfwco/index.html
March is Women’s History Month. We would like to recognize women in our ranks conserving our natural resources in the Fish and Wildlife Service. See others at www.flickr.com/groups/womeninscience/pool/.
Reprinted with permission from USFWS