Summer jobs from the strange to the wonderful

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Summer is supposed to be the season for rest and relaxation, a time to leave the cares and pressures of our jobs behind. But, of course, lots of work gets done over the summer, interesting and important work that’s often tied to the rhythms of the season. KCRW met an eclectic group of people who hold down some unusual jobs during the summer. In their own words, they talk about what they do and the joys and challenges that come with their work. Give a listen below.

Below, Excavator Laura Tewksbury says she’s found saber tooth cats, coyotes, bison, horses, camels, mastodons, mammoths and birds and more while digging at the Page Museum in Los Angeles.

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A heap of fossils at the La Brea Tar Pits as years of excavation work continues. Over 16,000 fossils from 80 different plant and animal species have been found, but there’s still much more to uncover. (Photo: Saul Gonzalez)

“When I’m performing, I just go,” says Rachel Jael at Venice Beach, who is raising money for a camera to make a film.

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Rachel performing on the Venice Boardwalk. Her dream is to use the money she earns to buy a camera to shoot a film. (Photo: Saul Gonzalez)

Jack Haskell at the Pacific Crest Trail Association says his job is to help hikers have “amazing experiences.”

Photo by Peter Stevens via Flicrk/ CC. The Pacific Crest Trail, heading north via east
Photo by Peter Stevens via Flicrk/ CC. The Pacific Crest Trail, heading north via east

Samuel Nathan Stevenson is a sea urchin diver. “It’s not a 9-5 job,” he says.

An example of the kind of creature Samuel seeks when he dives underwater. Unlike other kinds of fishing, which use long lines and nets, urchin divers handpick their harvest from rocks, reefs and the ocean floor. (Photo: benketaro/CC/Flickr)
An example of the kind of creature Samuel seeks when he dives underwater. Unlike other kinds of fishing, which use long lines and nets, urchin divers handpick their harvest from rocks, reefs and the ocean floor. (Photo: benketaro/CC/Flickr)

Yesenia Curiel is spending her summer looking for the Asian Tiger Mosquito.

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Los Angeles County Vector Control workers have to examine all places where water can collect outdoors and become a breeding ground for mosquitos in the warm summer months.  Here, Yesenia looks for signs of mosquito eggs in an outdoor, and likely not up to code, outdoor toilet. (Photo: Saul Gonzalez)