Who: Paige Smith, ASU Alumnus (2016)
Major: Conservation Biology & Ecology
Current job: Research Assistant at the Penn Vet Working Dog Center, Philadelphia, PA
What I do: Working with all the dogs has been so much fun, I never thought I’d really enjoy working with domestic animals. But, I get a lot of hand on animal experience. I’m hoping to take what I’ve been working on at the center and mix it in with wildlife work by studying conservation working dogs.
I work in the research department at the PVWDC. As a research assistant I work on four different projects. I run the sessions every day and organize the people and dogs needed to run each set. My main work revolves around using a scent wheel. They walk around the wheel sniffing each port and alert at the correct one. When the project is complete I help analyze the data and write the paper(s). Besides working on specific projects, I help to organize the interns in the lab and set them up to run each project as well. When I need a break from lab work and computers I take some dogs out for walks and free time. Also, when I have off days I try and join trips with the dogs training for live searching and other stuff, which is always a blast :).
I am currently looking into graduate schools for a Masters or PhD where I can do research on wildlife disease detection with working dogs.
How I got this job: My childhood friend’s mother volunteers here and knows I studied animals in college. She gave me the information to apply and…I did!