" I loved my 4 years at Purdue! The Botany Department has the exclusive advantage of being small and intimate with the benefits of a "small school" community, while still enjoying all the perks that only a large university can offer. For example, I knew all of my professors personally, and had a good relationship with my other colleagues in the department. I was not just a number in the system with an out-of-touch adviser. Instead I was able to get individual attention and assistance with any problem I faced during my time at Purdue, and I had no trouble getting letters of recommendation when the time came. Because of all this I was able to be a Purdue University Cheerleader, participate in several clubs on campus, maintain a high GPA, and still have a life outside of school.
I finished my studies at Purdue in May 2010, and in June I moved Nevada for a 6 month Conservation and Land Management internship with the Chicago Botanic Garden. There, I had the opportunity to work as a botanist at the Bureau of Land Management in Carson City. Most of my time was spent canvassing the Great Basin and Sierra regions in Northwestern Nevada with the Seeds of Success Program. The aim of the program is to collect, conserve, and develop native plant materials for the stabilization, rehabilitation and restoration of lands in the United States. I was also able to contribute to the ecological management decisions of the BLM by monitoring the plant life in research plots and in threatened aquatic areas, as well as attending several National Environmental Protection Agency meetings.
Currently, I am living in Puerto Rico and contributing to the Long Term Ecological Research project at the Luquillo Forest Dynamics Plot. I am helping to complete an annual Seedling Census that will enable further understanding of the factors that determine the structure and associated diversity of tropical forests. If the research is properly applied, it could guide management decisions and conservation practices to mitigate the effects of increasing rates of natural and human disturbance and climate change on the dynamics of forest communities.
I am really enjoying being able to travel around the country, learning through experience about different ecosystems and unique habitats. Next year I hope to apply this knowledge through graduate school research."