Introduction

Hi. In case you didn’t already know, my name is David. I’m currently a 25 year old living in the Chicago suburbs. I’m a self-proclaimed animal aficionado specializing in mammals and birds. I’m currently not allowed to have any pets, but that’s going to change someday. I do a variety of things in my free time. I try to read at least 50 new books a year. Since I’m not allowed any animals, I’ve gotten into gardening and house plants. It’s at the point where I’ve run out of space for plants. However, I’ve taken over care of the garden plots at my church, so that gives me a little extra room to exercise my green thumb. I also volunteer at a local parrot rescue every week. I clean their cages and feed them. I also get to socialize with them and enjoy their company. It’s dirty but a lot of fun.

Education

I graduated from the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign with a degree in Environmental Science and a minor in Conservation Biology and Ecology. My coursework primarily focused on animal biology and conservation. I started out wanting to be an environmental engineer, but switched to environmental science after realizing that the classes I was taking weren’t focusing on topics in which I was interested. I was heavily involved in the school horticulture club where I served as treasurer, advertising chair, and webmaster. I also helped teach some of our workshops like plant propagation and bonsai.

Work History

The summer after graduation from college, I participated in a research project studying habitat use of biofuel crops by local wildlife. It involved a lot of wading through tall grasses trapping and measuring things. It also involved a lot of plot construction. Our favorites games to play at work were Spot the Tick (preferably before it attaches), and Dirt or Tan Line. After the research, I interned at Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium in Omaha, Nebraska. I lived there for eight months working with hoofstock, birds, and native wildlife. I helped care for giraffes, zebra, cheetahs, ostriches, penguins, parrots, wolves, bears, bison, elk, and more. It was the coolest thing I’ve done in my life so far. Although I miss the experiences and interactions a lot, I decided that lifestyle wasn’t going to make me happy in the future. After the internship ended, I began working at a national retailer.

Fun Facts

  • I have been bitten by cockatoos, penguins, ibis, egrets, and terns.
  • I accidentally sat in bear pee helping Joel Sartore shoot photos for his Photo Ark project.
  • I have been to 42 43¬†of the 50 states.
  • My ultimate dream is to start my own conservation center and wildlife rehab facility.
  • My favorite sport is soccer.
  • I have brushed a giraffe with a broom.
  • I have never broken a bone.
  • The only other country I’ve visited is Canada.

Portraits

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