May is American Wetlands Month, and WithersRavenel is celebrating! Each week, we’re profiling one of our environmental professionals whose work includes wetlands. Today, meet Environmental Technician Patrick Welsh. He has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Fisheries, Wildlife & Conservation Biology from North Carolina State University, and came to WithersRavenel in 2021.
WithersRavenel: What sparked your interest in environmental science?
Patrick Welsh: My interest in environmental science started around 2015. I was going to community college in northern Virginia after separating from the Army in 2013 and had no idea what I wanted to do. But I needed another science class, and I was looking for an easy A. Well, it turned out to be the best decision I made because I fell in love with what I was learning and wanted to continue the environmental path.
WR: Tell me about your experience working outdoors in the Open Space Department with Wake County Parks and Recreation.
PW: The Open Space department is tasked with identifying important, rare, or historical habitat/land within Wake County for conservation. Basically, I spend my time walking through Open Space properties and record as many plant, bird, and animal species I can identify to go into a database to keep track of the biodiversity on Wake County property. For example, last year I was able to identify two slender glass lizards (Ophisaurus attenuates) in eastern Wake County which are incredibly rare.
WR: When you aren’t working, what types of outdoors activities do you enjoy?
PW: I really enjoy all kinds of outdoor activities, especially low-exertion activities (birdwatching, walking, etc.) so I can be more in the moment and enjoy nature and my surroundings. But if I had to choose a favorite, it would be backcountry backpacking for multiple days.
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