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Endangered Species Protection Network

By Katie Taylor
2018 CoalitionWILD Ambassador
United States

 

I have been passionate about animals since childhood and was fortunate enough to venture on camping and hiking adventures with my dad and sister even before I could walk.  From elementary school through high school, I had typical pets like hamsters, birds, and a dog. Everything I owned had some animal-theme and I was fascinated with any animal I came across.  However, it wasn’t until college where I realized my true passion for wildlife conservation.

Throughout college, I volunteered with a few different rehabilitation centers, like Colorado Parks and Wildlife office outside of Denver, Colorado, USA, and even completed an internship at the local zoo.  It wasn’t until senior year of college that I discovered a student club dedicated to bringing awareness of the plight of tigers to the students on campus. I became the president of this club and realized my interest in educating my peers in fun ways about tiger conservation issues.

After graduation, I moved to Washington, D.C., USA, a hub of young professionals who are dedicated to their careers and who also share a love of networking over drinks after work.  In spring of 2017, about a year after starting my post-college career in D.C. working at Defenders of Wildlife, I decided to start a network where young professionals could get together, network, discuss wildlife conservation issues, and meet like-minded individuals.  Thus, the Endangered Species Protection Network was formed.

Wildlife-themed bar trivia winners in Washington, D.C., USA

 

Events are geared toward the younger residents of the D.C. area and range from networking happy hours, to a combination of lectures and happy hours, documentary screenings, and even wildlife-themed trivia at a bar. The idea behind these monthly events is to educate, inspire, and bring together like-minded young professionals just starting out in wildlife conservation. Wildlife conservation is a difficult field to jump into and it helps to have connections with those who are already established in the field.  One hope is that through networking at these events, we can bring more passionate, dedicated young professionals into the field of wildlife conservation.

I feel it is important to reach out to young women, like myself, who are still finding their footing in the wildlife conservation community (especially in DC).  One of my goals for this network is to highlight the successes of women in wildlife conservation through hosting women conservation leaders as speakers to demonstrate to younger women that it is possible to be successful as a woman in the conservation field.

 Dr. Jennie Miller, Ph.D., speaks to a crowded room about stories from the field while researching big cats. Washington, D.C., USA.

My ultimate goal is to inspire and educate young professionals, many of whom might not even work in the environmental field, to care about wildlife and to believe that every person can make this world a better place for humans and non-human species alike.  The Endangered Species Protection Network is designed to reach young professionals who like animals, the environment, and are interested in meeting like-minded individuals who are working to make change happen.

For more information, follow Endangered Species Protection Network on Facebook.

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