By the time Cullom Simpson was in middle school he knew exactly what he wanted to do when he grew up.

“I was an only child growing up out in the country near Boerne,” said Simpson. “Naturally I was kind of drawn to the flora and the fauna that existed on my parents’ property. That led to volunteering at the Cibolo Nature Center, and I met several Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) biologists. So, I started doing volunteer work for TPWD, too.”

Simpson helped with spotlight surveys and learned how to age white-tailed deer and collect Chronic Wasting Disease samples. He volunteered at several TPWD wildlife management areas and with TPWD biologists, doing everything from banding doves to trapping wild turkeys. Every new experience just underscored his love for wildlife biology and his determination to become a biologist.

Simpson graduated from Tarleton with a degree in Wildlife, Sustainability and Ecosystem Sciences in Spring 2016, and was accepted to grad school at the Borderlands Research Institute at Sul Ross State University in Fall 2016. He graduated this month. Late last year he accepted a full-time job as a wildlife biologist with TPWD.

“It’s almost surreal,” said Simpson. “It’s all come full circle, and I can’t wait to build my career at TPWD.”