Introducing Manatee Researcher Ashley Hironimous

Name: Ashley Hironimus

What is your Job description? Wildlife Park Ranger at Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park

What do you do now? I am responsible for feeding, cleaning and caring for a wide variety of mammals, birds, and reptiles. I prepare diets, I take care of any animals in our Quarantine area that need medication, and maintain the animals habitats. I also give programs throughout the day to educate visitors about animals.

What is the best thing about your job? I get to do amazing things like scrubbing algae off the manatees, feeding venomous snakes, and catching up birds. My job is very hands-on and I enjoy that. Also, every day is different so I can never get bored!

What is the worst thing about your job? Florida is VERY hot. Sometimes I have to mow an exhibit when it’s 95 degrees out so it can be a little rough. I cope with the heat by drinking lots of water and eating a lot of popsicles!

What inspired you to first study science? I’ve always had a love for animals so going to a school with a Teaching Zoo (Santa Fe College) was a clear choice for me.

What advice would you give to someone interested in becoming a biologist? Definitely go to college and do as many internships as you can.