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Growing up in Vermont and studying its ecology as a Wildlife Biology major, Kiley became very attached to the local landscape and considers himself fortunate to have found a job on campus after graduation. As a student and well back into childhood, he had a passion for herpetology, the study of reptiles and amphibians. Since graduation, he has remained employed full time working as a research technician for the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Cooperative Research Unit in The Rubenstein School, as a field assistant for the Vermont Reptile and Amphibian Atlas, and as a teaching assistant for wildlife biology summer field courses including field herpetology.
Kiley spends most of his time with the Coop Unit working on a project to devise a sampling method for Mudpuppies, an aquatic salamander, in the Lake Champlain Basin. "It was kind of surreal," he admits. "Before I graduated, Mudpuppies were the only local reptile or amphibian I had never seen in the wild. The same week I began my post-graduation job search I promised myself I would find a Mudpuppy before leaving Vermont. Imagine my surprise when the first job I found was for this Mudpuppy position right at UVM."
He is currently looking into graduate school opportunities and hopes to find a position studying snakes in the Northeast but won’t turn down other opportunities if he thinks they will help him achieve his ultimate goal of studying herpetology as a life-long career.