Throughout my undergraduate career, I have been searching for the quintessential moment in career development that I have heard so many of my peers in research discuss; the moment in which a spark of passion and excitement drew them to a professional field of study. For some it has been a particularly inspirational single class, a lecture, or an experience in research, but for the majority, it has been a vision developing internally for years. For myself, my ultimate career goals are driven by a combination of the two: my underlying passion for understanding of the natural world has guided my search for a discipline within ecology, while a future experience will allow me to reach a final determination of my focus. I firmly believe that involvement in the REU program at the University of North Florida will be that experience and will be invaluable in narrowing my future field of study in professional science.
To provide background of my experiences, I have been interested in biological sciences for as long as I can remember. As an undergraduate, I have taken courses in biological and environmental sciences with an ultimate focus in conservation biology and ecology. Professionally, I seek a career capable of linking my interests in environmental preservation, wildlife conservation, and the methods of ecology, and hope to pursue graduate studies in field relating those goals. Currently, I am unsure of the professional focus I would choose as a graduate student, but know that it would involve research on an organismal level.