Lisa Bates ’08 Wildlife Biology, is in a good place. In fact, she has been there practically ever since she graduated. Shortly after she received her degree from Unity, Bates was able to secure her current position as Wildlife Technician at the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife. Her job is to locate and radio collar black bears in order to collect reproductive and morphological data. For Bates, it is a dream job, especially given that she is “obsessed with black bears.”

Originally from Patten, Maine, Bates began her studies at a larger, private institution and transferred to Unity because the college spoke to her. She says, “ Once I got to Unity, I felt at home—it is like the place where I grew up.”

Her visit to campus on October 2 was a beautiful fall day. Despite the weather, as an attestation to Bates’ knowledge and enthusiasm about what she does, her presentation was very well attended.

Bates gave some words of advice on how to learn. She said that although students have been taught for hundreds of years to study for a grade, they should also focus on paying attention to really learning the material. Bates explained that once on the job, the knowledge gained by truly understanding the material is much more useful than acing the test.

Working in a nontraditional field, Bates feels fortunate that she has been able to accomplish so much and has had so many opportunities. She attributes this to the tremendous amount of support (from her mentor and supervisor Randy Cross), and also because she believes in herself.

Of her post-Unity experience to date, Bates says, “I have one of the toughest jobs in the industry, but live by this mantra: ‘Don’t be afraid to try new things and don’t be afraid to fail.’”

Wednesday, October 03, 2012