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Women in Science: Connecting with the Future

Amanda and Lancer, built in LEGO. Photo by Courtney Celley/USFWS.
Amanda and Lancer, built in LEGO. Photo by Courtney Celley/USFWS.

Amanda Dickson

Wildlife Inspector K-9 Handler
Rosemont, Illinois

How long have you been working with the Service?
3.5 years

When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
A zoologist

What does a typical work day look like for you?
Get the dog, throw the ball to get him exercise, then take him to the Post Office to work mail until lunch. In the afternoon, the dog and I go to warehouses to search freight or we stay in the office to do paperwork. Then I drop the dog off at the kennel for the evening.

What is your favorite part about your job with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service?
Getting to work with my best friend!

What is the coolest plant or animal that you protect, conserve, restore or educate about?
I think the pangolin is the most interesting animal we work to protect. There is very little known about their lives, and they are critically endangered.

What advice would you give a young girl who dreams of working in a science field?
Work hard in school, especially math and science courses. Experience really helps, so seek out volunteer and job opportunities. Even volunteering or working in something seemingly unrelated can help you by showing how responsible and hard working you can be. Networking can make a huge difference, especially if you're trying to get a really competitive position, so meet new people and treat everyone with respect.

This article is part of our Women in Science: Connecting with the Future series, inspired by LEGO’s recent “Research Institute” set featuring female scientists at work. Our goal is to connect future female scientists with real employees who make up our diverse science-based agency, inspiring them to follow their dreams.

Amanda and Lancer working at the Post Office. Photo by USFWS.
Amanda and Lancer working at the Post Office. Photo by USFWS.

Amanda and Lancer heading to a temporary duty assignment at Los Angeles International Airport. Photo by USFWS.
Amanda and Lancer heading to a temporary duty assignment at Los Angeles International Airport. Photo by USFWS.


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The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others to conserve, protect and enhance fish, wildlife, plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. We are both a leader and trusted partner in fish and wildlife conservation, known for our scientific excellence, stewardship of lands and natural resources, dedicated professionals and commitment to public service. For more information on our work and the people who make it happen, visit www.fws.gov.

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Last updated: August 29, 2014