|In this issue:|
Upcoming Opportunities & Deadlines
- June 2006 Konza Prairie Field Trip
- 2006 ESA Annual Meeting SEEDS Travel Awards
- Call for ESA Mentors for 2006 ESA Annual Meeting
- 2005-06 Undergraduate Research Fellow: Andrea Rivera
- Undergraduate Research Mentor: Hunter Lenihan
- Student Highlight: Angela Loud Bear
- Campus Ecology Chapter: Johnson C. Smith University
- Three New Campus Ecology Chapters
- SEEDS Exhibit & Workshop at MANRRS
- Berry College REU
- Institute of Ecosystem Studies REU
- Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory Courses
- University of Michigan Courses
SEEDS: Newsletter > Volume 4, Issue 2 - March 2006
2005-06 Undergraduate Research Fellow: Andrea Rivera
Growing up in Honduras exposed me to the fascinating world of nature and my father, who was a geologist at that time, introduced me to the field of science. National Geographic Magazines, maps, and having the rainforest as my backyard helped me develop a true interest in tropical ecosystems. At the age of thirteen, my life transformed when I moved to New Jersey with my family making me realize how negatively humans are impacting our Earth.
After high school, I decided to go the University of the Virgin Islands (UVI) to pursue a B.S. degree in Marine Biology, and discovered a passion to study coral reefs. During my first year, I realized that I was interested in a more expansive major that would offer more of a global perspective, targeting environmental problems. Feeling accomplished at UVI, I was ambitious to develop my education at a larger college and transferred to the University of Hawai’i at Manoa. I am currently a senior student and will graduate this spring. My major is Environmental Studies, with a Marine Option Program certificate titled “Lobster Research Management.”
This past summer, I was fortunate to be awarded with the ESA SEEDS Undergraduate Research Fellowship, and have had the opportunity to travel to the ESA Annual Meeting in Montreal, Canada and the ESA International Conference in Merida, Mexico. I learned a great deal about current ecological research and expanded networks with ecologists and related professionals. The scientific conference gave me an idea for the next ESA Annual Meeting in Memphis, Tennessee where I will be presenting my fellowship research findings. The fellowship program is a great experience that is enabling me to do an individualized research project for a year. My mentor is Hunter Lenihan from the University of California at Santa Barbara and I’ll be working in the Moorea Coral Reef Long Term Ecological Research (LTER) Site in French Polynesia. I always wanted to do coral and algal research and SEEDS is making my dream come true. I enjoy the ocean, and I am in the process of becoming a scientific diver. As a result of the SEEDS program, I can do my fieldwork in the ocean and expand my understanding of coral and algae interactions. In addition, a SEEDS field trip to the Sevilleta LTER Project exposed me to dessert ecosystems for the first time.
SEEDS also helped sponsor the first University of Hawai’i at Manoa Ecology Chapter (UHMEC). As the President of the club, my involvement with outreach activities, grant applications and ecological activities has increased. The best advice I could personally give a student it to stay positive in college, because it can be very stressful at times, and to try to stay active with extracurricular activities. This will open many doors and help keep you focused. Also, once you find a program you like, don’t be afraid to apply, just get it done and perhaps you’ll experience something amazing.
In the future, I am planning to pursue a Masters degree and hopefully a Doctoral degree in Marine Environmental Science to help create a non-profit organization in Honduras. My ultimate goal is to develop applied ecological projects involving communities and help create marine protected areas in the Bay Islands of Honduras.
Muchas Gracias SEEDS for all your support, funding, advice and for making my dreams of becoming a marine ecologist true!
For more information on the SEEDS Undergraduate Research Fellowship, visit http://www.esa.org/seeds/activities/FellowshipsInfo.php