This month’s A Load of Croc is a summary of the experience Sarah Patterson from Canada had 6 weeks during her mentor apprenticeship with the CRC.
My time at the Crocodile Research Coalition was absolutely life-changing and personally life-affirming. I always knew my life would lead me to a place like Belize and into a career at this level of this extreme, but I never knew the lengths I could reach here. Not only did I get a thorough education on crocodile biology and comprehensive lessons on research methods, but I also got the hands-on experience every early career professional dreams of. The CRC equipped me with the knowledge to confidently dive into the world of crocodile conservation and that was just the beginning…While working with the amazing ecology intern I was given a glimpse into the world of avian research. I became so inspired we decided to coauthor a project focusing on avian diversity and richness between varying sites with the hope to help influence the ever-growing urbanization along Maya Beach. Additionally, I got a taste of the subsections within conservation such as necropsies and parasitology, opening up more doors I had ever considered. On top of the heaps of knowledge I acquired during my time with CRC, I honed practical skills in the field as well. Testing my endurance and patience in all sorts of situations and in all kinds of inclement weather- racking up the life experience points!Overall, paired with some stellar colleges, my time with the CRC was everything I could have asked for and more!