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James Witzke

Employer: Alberta Conservation Association
Position: Creel technician.
Location: Marie Lake, Alberta
Dates: May 21 to August 23, 2004

My main duties included surveying anglers as to their fishing catch rate and success (both on land and travelling in boats), taking biological samples from live and dead fish, test angling (fishing) and keeping local climate reports.

This internship was very helpful to me. I learned many extra skills outside of the requirements of my job. I learnt how to handle small propeller and large propeller boats(sometimes in very poor weather), drove quads to remote access lakes, drove 4x4s loaded with boats and quads(sometimes on very poor roads), working with different personality types for partners, working as part of a research team, educating anglers on fisheries management.

I liked the confidence my employers showed in me. I feel that going into a career, it is nice to have confidence in my own skills simply because of how I was treated. I liked working directly in the field (ten day stretches in a tent). I also disliked that at times too.

I think the internship is a valuable tool to ease into the field and careers that are upcoming for us. You use the tools that you need for finding a job, you find what kinds of jobs are out there, you find out how to be
competitive for a position and you may find a new career path from what you expected, just as I did. I was intent on following a career in Wildlife Biology, but am now going to pursue a career in fisheries.