Becky Begay is from Fruitland, New Mexico. She is currently in the Post-Baccalaureate Research Education Program (PREP) at the University of Kansas in Lawrence, KS. She graduated with her Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science with an emphasis in Biology at Haskell Indian Nations University in 2006. Becky was born and raised on the Navajo Reservation in New Mexico. As a result, she was taught to respect the land, air, water and animals because they are the elements that give her life and helps sustain her family and community. She believes that the land and the environment encompass spirituality and hold intrinsic values. This is what motivates her to become involved in ecology. Becky’s upbringing has enabled her to pursue her education in the environmental sciences. Her area of interest is in conservation ecology, wildlife ecology, desert ecology, and restoration ecology. She is currently researching the effect of mid-summer haying on early and late flowering prairie plants. Becky’s long-term goal is to assist Native American communities in conservation ecology and protecting tribal lands.
Greetings Everyone! I am excited to be serving as a SEEDS Alumni Mentor for the upcoming meeting. My name is Amber Finley and I am a recent graduate of the University of San Francisco, Master’s program in Environmental Management. My particular interests in ecology include environmental education, traditional ecological knowledge, and environmental policy. I am a mom, to a beautiful nine year old daughter. I am an enrolled member of the Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara Nation (Three Affiliated Tribes) as well as a member of the Spirit Lake Dakota Nation (Sioux) from my maternal grandmother’s side. My ultimate goal is to bring more programs like SEEDS to underserved communities, such as my home on the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation. I hope to have more students take an interest in science in general, but in ecology in particular. I would love to see the day when all youth are educated about their environment and care enough to want to save it. I have been involved with the SEEDS program for about five years now. I have gone on field trips, attended Annual Meetings, and even temporarily filled the Program Assistant position. I love the SEEDS family so much and attribute much of my success in these past few years to this program. The people I have met and continue to keep in contact with, mean so much to me it’s beyond words. I hope to make your experience at this year’s Annual Meeting as enjoyable as my first meeting was. I look forward to meeting all of you soon!
Kimberly Komatsu is entering her second year as a graduate student in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at Yale University. Currently, she is working in a plant community ecology lab at Yale under the guidance of Dr. Melinda Smith, studying top-down and bottom-up controls on community assembly and trajectories on Konza Prairie, Kansas. After earning her PhD, Kimberly plans to work either as a professor at a research university or as a researcher with a non-profit environmental organization.
I graduated from the University of Texas at El Paso with a BS in Environmental Science. Throughout my career I have focused my studies in the effects of human actions on wildlife - from insects all the way to marine mammals. I continue to work with SACNAS and SEEDS to promote the sciences and the science of ecology as a career to students from all backgrounds. Now at the University of Washington, I am investigating how different landscape attributes have an effect the amphibian species composition. Welcome new SEEDS students - please ask any of the mentors (including me) any questions you may have!
Hola!! My name is Colibrí. I am a first year graduate student at the University of Puerto Rico at Río Piedras. These past few years have been a wonderful time in my life. I have become involved with ecology, education and SEEDS in Puerto Rico, the US and Chiapas Mexico. My master thesis will be working in the Los Angeles ejido located in the buffer zone of La Sepultura Biosphere Reserve in Chiapas. I will be looking at the relationship between vegetation structure and composition and cattle management strategies on natural tree recruitment in the buffer zone rangelands. I hope to be able to contribute to efforts being done by ECOSUR to transition from conventional production systems to sustainable agroforestry systems. Both rural and urban sustainability are important aspects of the projects I am a part of. Recently I have started a proposal to create the first ever community based urban biological station in Río Piedras, PR. In addition, I have become involved through the AKKA SEEDS Ecology Chapter doing educational documentaries of a variety of themes such as cave conservation in Puerto Rico. I hope to grow in the field of ecology and education to help bridge the gap between research and education.
My name is Jeramie Strickland. I am from Chicago and earned a B.S. degree in Animal & Poultry Science from Delaware State University in 2004. Prior to joining the SEEDS family in 2004, I interned with Michigan State University, Purdue University, Delaware State University, the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, and performed conservation and biodiversity research in Namibia, Africa. Before starting in the Ecology and Evolutionary Program (EEB) at Iowa State University in August 2006, I was Student Coordinator of the SEEDS program for the Ecological Society of America since January 2005. My position with ESA deepened my interest in ecology and solidified my decision to pursue a graduate degree in EEB at ISU. For my M.S. degree, I am studying spatial and temporal dynamics of depredation of Painter Turtle (Chrysemys picta) nests using both observational and experimental approaches in the field. I will earn my M.S. degree in December 2008. I also love to travel, breed dogs, play sports, and socialize.