SFBBO staff as a full time Waterbird Biologist and I didn’t hesitate to stick around and learn as much as I could. As I organized salt pond surveys for the next three years, I experienced the migration of birds to and from the bay. It’s a special feeling to have a pulse on those seasonal changes. It creates a feeling of connection to the natural world that is indescribable.
It wasn’t just working on salt ponds where I felt that connection. Avian Disease Prevention boat surveys probably top my list of favorite job duties. Out of the seven million people that live in the bay area, I bet less than 0.05% have had the opportunity to experience a meandering south bay slough by boat. It is as breathtaking as it is special. Counting 50,000-plus gulls in a week is also special (and another favorite memory of mine), although I must admit, it takes your breath away in a different way (it doesn’t smell the best).
After four years (and some change) of incredible work at SFBBO, I am moving on to a job as a Park Interpreter with Santa Clara County Parks. Now more than ever, I feel pulled toward educating the next generation of scientists and helping to facilitate meaningful connections in nature. I'm honored to have been a part of such an awesome and passionate group of biologists, volunteers, and fellow bird nerds. It has been so inspirational to see all of the heart that everyone who is a part of SFBBO pours into the conservation of birds and habitats. I look forward to staying involved and up to date with everything SFBBO as a volunteer and member.
Victoria Heyse was SFBBO's Lead Waterbird Biologist. She is now a Park Interpreter with Santa Clara County Parks, where she will continue to impact birds as an SFBBO partner.
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