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A Talk on the Wild Side.

Women Help Make Our Office of Law Enforcement Successful

#WeAreUSFWS

woman in FWS uniform in lab with stuffed wildlife, animal skeletonsWildlife Inspector Camille Sims. Photo by USFWS

The importance of women’s contributions cannot be overstated, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Office of Law Enforcement (OLE) benefits from them in many ways. Women excel at undercover and covert work, performing inspections, public outreach, science and technology innovations, and intelligence gathering . In addition, they represent the Service through our attachés, work as information technology and help desk specialists, ensure our seized items are properly logged and secured, and provide administrative support. In short, women in the OLE are represented in almost every work product of the program.

The following women exemplify the key leadership traits of intelligence, innovation, compassion, and dedication to duty, and represent just a fraction of OLE’s many commendable and outstanding staff members.

See these women's full stories

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“Assertive communication is one of the best skills you can learn. Don’t be afraid to reach out and let people know what you want in your career and your life,” Amanda Dickson, Wildlife Inspector Canine Handler.

 


woman in FWS uniform shines light in big blue container“As for women who are interested in wildlife law enforcement careers, I would encourage them to be confident and fearless. They must know that within themselves they are capable of anything they set their mind to,” Wildlife Inspector Camille Sims.


“Do not be afraid to go after your dreams; a woman can do whatever she puts her mind to. Everything is possible and in reach with a little persistence, determination, and dedication. The sky is “no” longer the limit - sharpen your mind, it is what will get you there,” Law Enforcement Support Assistant Tina Luckett.

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3 people walking up grassy hill“Just because your path diverges from its original course does not mean that you have failed. We are constantly learning and evolving and our interests and goals naturally change with that growth. In my opinion the only true failure occurs when you choose not to try. And make no mistake - it is always your choice,” Senior Special Agent Lori Choquette.


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“Women must work hard and be persistent. The past generations of women in the workforce did it for us and we have to continue the work for future generations.  In addition, women are highly intuitive and that is a skill that transcends into law enforcement very well,” Regional Supervisor Wildlife Inspector Eva Lara.


headshot of woman“Life can be very challenging at times. We will all encounter obstacles that influence our paths forward. Our best lives come from treating each other and ourselves with compassion, especially during challenging times,” Program Analyst Hillary Harms.


“Young women seeking a career with the Service in an administrative position should finish their higher education in business or related field.  While the administrative duties remain constant, assisting law enforcement with detailed investigations is always a highlight of a career because every case is unique and rewarding.  Our mission is critical and we must protect those species that cannot protect themselves,” Law Enforcement Support Assistant Diana Spint.

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woman in lab coat spreads wings of dead bird

“It was difficult for me to find female role models doing what I wanted to do.  What I didn’t know, until I started working at the lab, was that there were pioneering women in the field of forensic ornithology. The field started in the 1960s with Roxie Laybourne, who worked at the Smithsonian in Washington, DC.  She helped investigators determine that a flock of European starlings was to blame for a fatal plane crash,” Forensic Scientist Ariel Gaffney.


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“Some qualities that come naturally to women are not thought of as traditional law enforcement attributes, but are absolutely strengths. If you want a career supporting people and wildlife, don’t be afraid to be compassionate,” Help Desk Specialist Jen Foster.

For security purposes, there are no pictures for the following senior special agents:

“One statement I like to live by is, “Never take ‘No’ for an answer.”  I find that my advice to my children is very similar to advice I give to younger Service employees (LOL!).  There will always be someone or something blocking the way to your goals. Remain focused on where you are going, but remember that the path to get there may not be a straight line.  You have to keep an open mind and be willing to adapt your plans.  There is always a way,” Senior Special Agent Dede Manera.


 “There is going to be many struggles and big decisions you will need to make, so make the best ones for you and don’t let others talk you into doing something for the wrong reasons.  Find that special someone in your life who will be there during the good and hard times.  It does not need to be a partner, it can be a friend, family member, or mentor, and it does not have to be the same person throughout your entire career. Never stop asking questions and learning something new every day.” Senior Special Agent Lizz Darling.

 

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