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Student Resource Pages - Nature CSI! - Greg Southard

Cover-Freddie the Fish

Special investigators come to the crime scene when wildlife die. We call what they do "nature forensics." Let's meet some real life nature detectives:
Greg Southard

Greg Southard, Aquatic Animal Health Inspector, Inland Fisheries, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department

What do you like most about your job?
My job is a lot of fun! There always seems to be something new to work on! When samples are submitted to our lab it is often a mystery that needs to be solved. Plus, the people I work with at the department are really enthusiastic about our jobs.
What made you decide to do this for a living?
I started with TPWD as part of the summer internship program and later got a full-time position with the department as a fish health specialist. I have been with the department for over 10 years and really enjoy the work I do for the state as well as the people I get to work with.

I am a microbiologist by training with both a Bachelor's and Master's of
Greg Southard at South Llano River State Park

Greg Southard at South Llano River State Park

Science (B.S./M.S.) in Biology from Texas State University with emphasis on microbiology and virology.
What advice would you give to a child interested in nature forensics?
Try your best in school, especially in the math and sciences. But all the subjects are important as you need good reading and writing skills to effectively communicate with others.

Students also need to get a better understanding of and respect for the environment and the outdoors.
Greg Southard Working on Virology Samples

Greg Southard Working on Virology Samples

Do you get to use any cool stuff in the lab?
I get to use a compound microscope to identify parasites!
Is there anything else you’d like to add?
I think the new TPWD slogan is awesome - Life's Better Outside!



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