But I'm not a Scientist

I am not a herpetologist, an aquatic ecologist, or a police chief. Then how did I come up with believable characters that held these positions in 'Camouflage'? 

To create the people in these roles I used a technique I'll call over researching. 

In one scene the scientists are with police officers on a boat in the lake. I had to figure out what the scientists would point out in regards to the wildlife. I took pages of notes on; how to become an expert in each relevant scientific field, I learned what animals are indigenous to the area, what tools the professionals would use to do their research, etc. 

The funny thing is I only ever used a fraction of the information I gathered. By over studying I was able to get a feel for the professions and write dialogue that made the characters sound natural and proficient.

I enjoyed doing the research, and was fascinated by some of the things I learned. I particularly liked when I could put some of the facts in the story.