Chasing lizards around and getting dirty as a kid, especially with my brother, was one of my favorite things ever. Luckily, I had great parents that also enjoyed being outside and I grew up in Mt. Shasta, Ca where there is plenty of "outside" to explore. Like many children, I always wanted to bring everything home so eventually I was allowed to have some small pets and quickly took an interest in lizards. Shortly after high school I began volunteering on a few jobs where I worked with lizards, salamanders, and bats. Eventually I made a name for myself as a volunteer and was offered a paid fisheries position during summers, and attended college so I could pursue a career in wildlife biology. I earned a Bachelor's of Science Degree in both General Biology and in Zoology but because I had fisheries experience, I remained in that field for a bit longer doing various jobs. Eventually I moved on and was lucky enough to work with reptiles, amphibians, and all sorts of other amazing creatures in different parts of California before returning to my northern roots. During my career, I have met other biologists who also chose this field of study because they grew up outdoors, in the woods, or had animals and pets. Both children and adults can benefit so much from simply caring for another living creature. Children especially learn about love and empathy and may be better adjusted as adults. Reptiles are not for everyone so as with any pet, consider your own needs, desires, and limitations first. Luckily we live in a time where there is better species information and superb products on the market, which provides access to responsibly obtain and own a larger variety of pets. My connection with animals and nature defines me as a person and will forever be a part of my life.