A Day in the life of Rachel (environmental health specialist and ‘theblondebiologist’ blogger):
Hi, I’m Rachel and I have always been passionate about the ocean and marine life, but I wasn’t sure how to incorporate that into my career. While on a research trip to Belize during my senior year of university, I realized how important it is for the government and scientists to work together. It was so fascinating to me how much behind-the-scenes work goes into enacting a marine protected area and implementing laws that protect animals, and it goes largely unnoticed by much of the public. I completed my B.S. in biology with minors in biochemistry and psychology in the summer of 2016 and moved to Hawaii in January 2017 to pursue a career as an environmental health specialist working in environmental regulation for the state. It was a perfect location to get hands-on experience and training for environmental work of all varieties, both at work and in my free time. I get to spend my weekends hiking incredible volcanic mountains and swimming with tropical fish. All that hard work to get to this professional point of my life was SO worth it!
Check out Rachel’s Instagram “theblondebiologist” & here etsy shop: https://www.etsy.com/shop/TheBlondeBiologist?coupon=ALOHA10
6:15 AM: I love my sleep, so most days I end up eating my breakfast while I get ready for work to get a few more minutes in bed. Today I will be going out in the field so I make sure to use foundation with SPF and bring sunscreen along with me. The Hawaii sun is no joke!
7:30 AM: My daily commute on the bus is jam-packed full of people. Today I got lucky and scored a seat! Taking public transportation is one way I try to reduce my carbon footprint and save money, but it can really test my patience with the varying bus schedules and large amount of people on my usual routes.
8:00 AM: Office work this morning includes preparing for an inspection today with some background research on the subject facility and continuing to write a report from a previous inspection.
9:30 AM: I am heading out to the field to conduct an inspection at a permitted facility. Necessary items I’m taking with me are polarized sunglasses, personal protective gear (PPE) like a safety vest and hardhat, and my tablet to document what I find in notes, hand-drawn site maps, and photos.
11:45 AM: I’m taking my lunch break picnic-style by the ocean today. This quiet spot is close to my office so it’s a great place to catch up with my family and boyfriend via FaceTime or phone call since they are five and six hours ahead of HST, respectively.
2:30 PM: I am drafting an inspection report to document in detail my site visit this morning, as well as a letter to the facility explaining my findings. Looking at the Hawaii Revised Statutes/Hawaii Administrative Rules and at the facility’s permit while I go over my notes and photos from the morning helps me find any discrepancies in their operations and environmental impact.
5:15 PM: Pumping out some much-needed endorphins with an at-home workout! I switch up my workouts between yoga, HIIT, hiking, swimming, and running because I get bored doing the same thing over and over.
7:30 PM: There’s a Southern BBQ-themed food truck festival tonight and this southern Indiana girl is getting her ribs, pulled pork, and mashed potatoes fix! Adjusting to the more Asian- influenced cuisine in Hawaii has been more difficult than I imagined.
8:30 PM: Walking home under palm trees and moonlight, planning out what I need to do to prepare for my day tomorrow.
9:15PM: I’m editing photos and dreaming up another blog post before snoozing. I am a happier human with 7.5-8 hours of sleep.
Thanks for sharing your day Rachel, don’t forget to check out her blog, Instagram & etsy store!