I grew up in rural Indiana surrounded by nature, hiking, camping, fishing, and hunting. I always had an appreciation for the natural world as a result, but my journey to becoming a scientist has been long and unpredictable. I am currently a Ph.D. student at UMass studying how humans and landscape influences connectivity, dispersal, and fragmentation. Before I started my current research project, I got my Masters at TTU studying desert ecology and landscape connectivity in the Sonoran Desert for everything from bullfrogs to bighorn sheep. I have worked on wildland and prescribed fires and tracked endangered and threatened species. I have also worked with the US Forest Service and NPS. Helping others develop a love of the natural world by sharing how I feel about the world around me, the love, wonder, and appreciation, is one of the most important things I can do.
P.s. Do you know a local scientist? Go out and find them and give them a hug.