I had a second job for a long time. I originally sought the position to make ends meet (important when you’re making less than $650 a month as a grad student!), but it turned into a fantastic learning experience that trained me in many areas of aquatic ecology. I was hired as the aquatic insect guru and spent a lot of time at a desk in the back room identifying bugs by myself, but everyone pitched in as needed whenever someone in our group had sampling trips or research tasks that required several people. One of my friends was studying the impacts of the chemicals in wastewater (pharmaceuticals, fire and flame retardants, anti-microbial soaps, etc) on fish and had to take blood samples a few times a year. It took days and a lot of people to make it happen, but I thought it was a ton of fun and I learned a lot. And look at this fish!
Isn’t she a beaut? This is an endangered Arizona native fish, the bonytail chub (Gila elegans), and I think it’s stunning!