My name is Veda Allen (pronounced Vey-duh, sort of like Darth Vader), and I am the new Wildlife Biologist Intern at Malheur National Wildlife Refuge with Friends of Malheur. As of May 6th, I have officially graduated with a Bachelor of Science from Stephen F. Austin State University in Nacogdoches, Texas. My degree was Forestry with an emphasis in Wildlife management. I’ve completed several research projects during my college career, from drones to frogs to dolphins (oh my!). My first introduction to wildlife occurred during high school, when I began volunteering for All Things Wild Rehabilitation, a nonprofit that specializes in rehabilitating various wildlife species native to Texas. After years of volunteering, I graduated from working with baby opossums at their center to attending college and wrestling alligator snapping turtles for graduate research projects. It’s safe to say that wildlife has played a major role in shaping who I am today.
I am very excited to be here in Oregon. The furthest north I’ve lived was Illinois, and that was a long while ago. Texas is gorgeous, don’t get me wrong, but I am ready to see more of the world and Oregon has been on my list for a few years! From the pictures I’ve seen, Malheur National Wildlife Refuge is absolutely gorgeous. I look forward to calling it my home for the next several months.
Based on the internship job description alone, I will be learning a lot and gaining valuable skills applicable towards future careers. I love research, data collection, and analyzing results. I believe that this internship is perfect for my research-engrossed mind. This position will also introduce me further into the world of conservation, a subject I am greatly interested in but one where I have little experience. The idea of making a difference and having a positive impact on the world and its various species matters greatly to me. No matter how small, a change is a change, and I would be happy to be a catalyst. I don’t know what type of future awaits me after this internship, but I know this position will only make it clearer, and I am excited to see what life has in store.