Growing up in Ohio, Katie spent a lot of her childhood outside during the summer months. She spent a year at her grandmother’s house where she immersed herself in nature. Katie was able to take her love and interest for animals and nature into a career.
Growing up in Ohio, Katie spent a lot of her childhood outside during the summer months. She spent a year at her grandmother’s house where she immersed herself in nature. Katie was able to take her love and interest for animals and nature into a career. While in attendance at Ohio University, she created her own bachelor’s special studies degree which she used to conduct research around snakes and then salamanders in Kentucky. After graduating, she worked at the OSU Stone Lab as a maintenance crew worker and has also gained experience in working for the National Parks Services and for the Cleveland Metro Parks at the Zoo and Wildlife Rehab Center.
Currently, Katie has created a company called Legacy 3D which uses 3D scanning as a conservation tool. The company strives to make 3D scanning available and affordable to everyone.
In this episode, we learn a little bit about Salamanders. Ambystoma Salamanders are dual-gendered salamanders which reproduce by cloning themselves. They are often found in the between Southeast Ohio to Quebec. We also learned that Salamanders often live in dead wood which up until around 200 years ago caused them to be associated with fire because people would see them running out of the fire (because they were in the dead wood) and thought of as magical/evil creatures.
Working in the National Parks Service
Working in the Environmental Education Center and on the tourist train at the Cuyahoga National Park, Katie shared her experience working for the National Parks Services. The National Parks Service was less bureaucratic than the Cleveland Metro Parks which she mentioned as having frequent red tape and limited funding. Seasonal jobs are highly common in NPS, which lead to the Land Management Workforce Flexibility Act.
Each national park is managed by a different president, so there is often a different tone and management of conflict park by park. Some parks are culturally more conservative and seem like more of a “boys club” than others, normally the more remote the park is, the more conservative it is - either by the visitors or by the employees. One specific example is the Grand Canyon, generally, the “harder work” was done by men at the bottom of the Canyon and often when a woman tried to work down there they were hazed by the male workers. Once a new manager was hired, the harassment ceased.
We talked briefly about Katie’s research with Snakes and Salamanders. Katie also explained how she started her business about Legacy 3D and why conservation is so important. Towards the end of the podcast, Katie shared a shocking story about some of the inequities she experienced as an LGBTQ+ woman in her work field.
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