July 2021 - 28
then accepted the position of fisheries biologist
with Game and Fish.
His job focuses on maintaining healthy
fish habitats through planning and
designing research projects, developing and
recommending management plans, evaluating
data, giving public presentations about fish
and how to responsibly use available resources
and communicating with other departments,
like the Bureau of Land Management and
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, about fish
Cheyenne Stewart's path to becoming a
wildlife management coordinator for Game
and Fish never really had an " aha " moment.
" I always thought that if I wanted to work
with animals, I would become a veterinarian, "
Stewart said. " I did not realize my current job
even existed. "
Stewart grew up spending a lot of time
outside and working around animals, so she
pursued a zoology degree from the University
of California, Santa Barbara. During her junior
year, Stewart studied abroad at the University
of Western Australia where she counted
penguin nests, captured marsupials for tracking
Cheyenne Stewart has worked with a variety of big mammals as a wildlife coordinator. Her work includes capturing and
collaring elk in Wyoming. (WGFD photo)
" I always thought that if I wanted to
work with animals, I would become
a veterinarian. I did not realize my
current job even existed. " - Cheyenne
For some, the first job that comes to mind
when working with wildlife is as biologist like
Steve Gale or Cheyenne Stewart.
For Gale, the job sounded like a doorway
" In high school, I wanted to be an
architect, " he said. " But in my senior year I
realized I wanted to have a sense of excitement
and be outside. "
Gale has been working with fish since he
was 19 and currently works for Game and
Fish in Laramie.
" While finishing my bachelor's degree in
natural resources at the University of Nebraska,
I got a job with the Nebraska Department
of Environmental Quality as an aquatic
technician, " Gale said. " I studied the diversity
of fish in Nebraska, studied the fish in the
Platte River and had a unique experience
learning about life under water. "
That position led to a job in Yellowstone
National Park as a fisheries technician
controlling nonnative lake trout.
Gale finished his master's degree in fisheries
management at Montana State University and
28 | July 2021
and studied wallabies. She was hooked.
" When I came back to the states, I started
to look for opportunities as a field biologist, "
Stewart said. " I had so many questions about
wildlife and felt there was always something to
learn, and that is what a biologist does - asks
and answers those questions. "
After college she applied for hundreds of
jobs, and the few positions she accepted were
three-to-six-month seasonal opportunities.
Stewart continued her education by completing
a master's degree in wildlife biology from Utah
State University. She gained experience in a
one-month job working on Ellesmere Island
in the Canadian Arctic studying arctic wolves
before she began working in Wyoming.
Gale and Stewart stressed that starting out
as a biologist is not for the faint of heart, but
keep trying and take any opportunity that
comes your way.
" I had nine years of summer jobs before
I finally got my permanent position, " Gale
said. " Make yourself competitive in your field,
network, make connections, differentiate
yourself and volunteer to get varied experience. "
Added Stewart: " Be open-minded and
broaden your horizons as much as possible.
Hop onto any experience and seek out
diverse opportunities. Work hard, request
critical feedback and know and improve your
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