Rian Jackson (August 19, 2019): Getting Ready (July)

Hi! My name is Rian and I recently got accepted to the FSU Gap Year Fellows program. In May I graduated from High School and I am planing to pursue conservation work through three different volunteer opportunities. Mostly I am looking froward to my gap year plans which include a stay at a sub arctic research station, volunteering at a wild life recovery center for birds of prey and a WOOF-ing experience on a conservation property in the United Kingdom.

Over all, I am expecting this gap year to contribute to a better understanding of my future college direction. Another benefit will be getting to know some people who have not grown up or lived in the United States. A gap year seems to be a great time to explore different professions, cultures and climates. For the climate part, I’m eager to buy heavy duty winter gear as I awaiting my first winter snow storm and spring sleet. As a Florida native, this will be quite a shock! I have previously spent some time working on conservation projects with Earth Watch in the Andorran Pyrenees so these projects are a natural extension of that experience. In Andorra I learned about some basics of conservation research including bird netting and bird banding, and I hope to learn more during my upcoming travels.

For the next few months before leaving, I am working a job to help with expenses during my trip abroad. I am also gaining experience handling and providing veterinarian care to a variety of animals. This should be put to good use when helping to rehab wild raptors and wildlife on the conservation property. In my down time, I am continuing to research the volunteer programs I will be joining, the towns and organizations near by, as well as becoming best friends with my MS Excel expenses spreadsheet.

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