Help me be a botanist!
Hey everybody, my name's John. I live in the Panhandle of FL currently, and I've always been interested in botany. The problem is, I have no direction or idea of how one gets started doing it professionally. I understand science, I love nature, I'm great at math (statistical analyses? Yes please!), and I have a green thumb, but I still don't even know where one gets started in botany.
I think what I'm looking for is a mentor. I've been in the Air Force for 4 years, where on-the-job training is a big aspect of our technician culture. From that, I've seen that just jumping in and "getting your hands dirty" helps the initial learning process much more than any book could. Books, databases, scientific articles, etc. are there as SUPPLEMENTS to actual field work. It should not be the other way around.
So I want to find some field work in my area. This idea honestly just occurred to me this morning. I think I want to consult the local colleges and universities about this on Monday, but until then I saw no harm in throwing a posting up here. Can anybody connect me with a mentor or point me in the direction of field work around where I live? Fort Walton Beach, FL. It's near Pensacola.