04 July 2021

Do What You Love

Written by: Beatrice Arce

“You want to go into water management. What does that mean?”

I could not tell you how many times I have been asked what a career in water entailed. Water is fundamental to all life but is often exploited, manipulated, and misunderstood. From my experience, it seems as if the public understanding behind hydrology is typically unknown. So, I strived to highlight water education and sustainability while brainstorming an event for Latino Conservation Week (LCW).

My LCW event will be an outdoor showing of the documentary DamNation while creating a sustainable DIY. Once seen as a clean alternative to fossil fuels, the documentary highlights the destructive nature damming has on ecosystems and cultures. I hope this event can spark curiosity in others to learn more about hydrology. Beyond the “what” and into the “why.” A geology class is what began my interest.

As I reached the halfway mark with Alaska’s Water Resources Branch (WRB), I have experienced the huge dichotomy between hard and soft skills in the workplace. Curiosity and grit are highly esteemed in the Service. I had to switch my mindset from searching for technical steps to solving a unique task. I came into a role focused on data management without knowledge about the subject. It has been very challenging but equally rewarding. It has been so fulfilling to be excited about learning new things in the field. What I lack in skill I make up for in enthusiasm.

I chose to pursue a career in environmental science because it was a mix of my interests: science, sustainability, conservation, and stewardship. I asked my team at the WRB why they chose to pursue a career in environmental science. Their responses: “To help save the world!” “I have always felt a connection with nature and figured this would be a good way to both experience nature and help to protect it at the same time.” “I liked (and still do) wandering through the woods more than walking down the street.” “My natural curiosity and growing up playing in the outdoors steered me towards the field.”

It appears working for the Service is much more than a job. If you’re looking for a sign to follow an interest, this is it.

Learn more about LCW at

Agency: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Program: Directorate Fellows Program

Location: Alaska Regional Office

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