Hello readers! As promised, we have returned with a full week of field work under our belts. Well, Maura did a full week of field work while Alexis split halfway through the week to move out of her house back in Champaign. Last week was a pretty brief post so we wanted to take a moment to introduce ourselves.



Hello! I’m Alexis Davidson and I will be a third year veterinary student originally from this fine state of Illinois. I am a “cradle-veterinarian” that was first exposed to the field when I was two-years old and watched Dr. Doolittle. I completed undergrad here at UIUC and decided to stick around for the corn festival. I have a passion for conservation and non-traditional species; so a future in wildlife and zoo medicine would be the goal. Outside of the veterinary and animal world I enjoy hiking, photography, and traveling the world. I am excited to be back for a second summer of Kane County turtle fun!



Hi everyone! My name is Maura Ryan and I will be a second-year veterinary student. I was born and raised in downtown Chicago, Illinois where most of my early animal experience came from watching Zambooafoo or weekend trips to Brookfield Zoo.  I attended Saint Louis University where I received a Bachelors in Biology and a Minor in Spanish. During my undergraduate education, I interned at Miller Park Zoo, Saint Louis Zoo, and the Endangered Wolf Center. The culmination of all my experiences during my internships helped to realize my dream to become a boarded Zoo and Wildlife Veterinarian. I am extremely excited to get to learn from the amazing staff at Kane County in addition to my extraordinary colleagues in WEL.


First Blanding’s of the season!



This first week in the field was busy. With Alexis leaving midway through, the beginning half of the week was chalk full of teaching. Maura learned everything from working up a turtle in the field to all of the lab work back at the shop. Despite being given a ridiculous amount of information, Maura absorbed it all and rocked it!  One of the first things we have to do is learn how to prioritize. Sometimes a turtle is too small to get enough blood for a full work up so we prioritize which tubes to use and which test will be run. We prioritize our time in the lab so that everything can get done in an efficient manner.


Most importantly, Maura learned where all of the crucial Dunkin’ are located. Loyal readers may remember from last summer, Alexis runs on coffee and has more caffeine in her veins than blood. Turns out Maura also requires caffeine to human. We even made friends with the barista and Maura learned the difference between a macchiato and a latte. On top of coffee, Dunkin is important for another reason; see Kane County Turtle Team has a tradition that if you dunk your waders (i.e fall in the swamp and fill your waders with water) you get the team donuts. Maura had the honors first this year, though Alexis followed suite just few hours later. Shall we start a wader dunk tally?