Student Stories

Catie Boucher

I grew up in Southern California, in your typical suburb. My family wasn't particularly outdoorsy, but I loved animals. I spent hours poring over National Geographic for Kids and soaking up random fun facts about wildlife.

When I first started at Oregon State in Fisheries & Wildlife Sciences, I was set on wildlife rehabilitation. I thought rehabilitation and veterinary medicine were essentially the only ways to work with animals! Little did I know how much that perception would change over the next four years...

Read more of Catie's story here.


Nomi Samuel

Follow me, an E-campus Fisheries and Wildlife Sciences student, through my first international research experience with the South African Shark Conservancy. You will be let in on the important studies taking place in one of the world’s most important biodiversity hot spots while watching me overcome challenges and gain valuable professional (and life) experiences!

Read about Nomi's journey here.

Student Stories

Read about our students and their experiences, challenges, and successes in the classroom and the field. Are you a Fisheries and Wildlife student taking classes in Corvallis or Hatfield with a story to tell? Contact your advisor to find out how! 

There and Back Again: A South African Adventure

Postbac student, Kevin Keys, traveled about as far from Corvallis as possible to participate in an internship: Cape Town, South Africa. Follow his journey, There and Back Again: A South African Adventure, where he documents his work with the Cape Town Environmental Education Trust (CTEET) on their effort to eradicate non-native vegetation from the Cape Flats region to protect the endangered Cape Flats Dune Standveld. The project uses eland, a type of antelope that were extirpated from the area about 200 years ago, to help conserve and manage the floral biodiversity in the region.

Blog: GEMM Lab

Do you want to know about the ecology, behavior, health, and conservation of marine megafauna including cetaceans, pinnipeds, seabirds, and sharks? Then follow the GEMM Lab’s blog to read what students and researchers are learning, the conservation impacts of their studies, or just hear what life in the field and lab is like.

Jackie Delie: Encouraging Knowledge and Exploration

Jackie has a spark for adventure with a drive to spur discussion and connect you to stories on conservation, human-nature relations, and cultural diversity. Through her website, she covers a variety of topics such as life as a graduate student and her experience rehabilitating howler monkeys in Panama. 

Ali Azevedo: Guarding Cheetahs
Ali’s internship with the Cheetah Conservation Fund in Namibia is giving her the real-world experiences she’s been hoping for – learning about human-wildlife conflict, wildlife rehabilitation and public education – all in an international setting. Interacting with locals, medical professionals, educators – and of course, cheetahs – all add up to an educational experience you can’t get in the classroom.
Melissa Robell - Mel Takes Brazil
"I'm really excited to do an international internship in Florianópolis, Brazil for 10 weeks to work with neotropical and giant otters."
Amanda Figley - A Roaming Jackpine
Amanda is an Ecampus transfer student in her third year in the Fisheries and Wildlife Sciences program. Click here to check out her experiences during the Hawaiian Summer 2016 coral reef field class.
Scout Clair - PDX Wildlife name is Scout Clair and I am one of the 2016 fall interns! I’m from Portland, Oregon and just graduated in the spring from Oregon State University with a bachelor’s degree in Fisheries and Wildlife that I hope to use to become a zookeeper. Through the zoo, I was also fortunate enough to have the opportunity to travel to Costa Rica for 2 weeks to learn about the different studies taking place at the La Selva Biological Research Station. Living on-site at the research station was an amazing experience as we were fully immersed in the jungle lifestyle and got to know our peccary neighbors very well! While in Costa Rica we also had the opportunity to go to the Tortugeuro National Park and observe a turtle nesting!
Natasha Peters - Raptor Conservation in Bulgaria
Click to see Natasha's internship presentation describing her work with Saker Falcons and Egyptian Vultures. In this presentation, she discusses threats both raptors face, along with efforts being made to preserve their species.
Oregon State University Bird Nerds
OSU Bird Nerds is a student-run ornithological club at OSU. Our mission is OSU students with an opportunity to learn more about the amazing world of birds to provide through bird-related activities, résumé-building experiences, speakers from the ornithological community, species identification workshops, and field trips and to share the knowledge gained from these activities with the Corvallis birding community through volunteer, education, and conservation involvement.
Stephanie Schmidt: Wildgenetics
My internship role involves working in the field, setting and checking insect traps in the forest, and in the lab, identifying specimens and preparing them for DNA processing. We will be using a technique called DNA metabarcoding in this study. DNA metabarcoding is fascinating (but, I’m biased). To put it simply, it is a way to assess biodiversity by identifying DNA found in the environment.
Michelle Fournet: Acoustic Ecology & Marine Mammal Research

Michelle is a PhD student in Wildlife Science in Fisheries and Wildlife. Her primary research to-date has focused on humpback whale non-song communication - or social sounds - in Southeast Alaska. Follow Michelle's travels as a researcher and as a Graduate Teaching Assistant for several of the Department's undergraduate classes.

Matt Ramirez: Unlocking the Mysteries of Sea Turtles Using Their Bones

My research is focused on studying the factors that influence sea turtle growth rates and population dynamics, primarily through examination of the bones. I’m one of only a handful of people in the world who studies sea turtle bones.

We love hearing about our students' experiences!
  If you have a blog you would like to share here, contact your advisor and let them know!   You can read more of our student stories here.

Ecampus Student Stories

Read about our Ecampus students and their experiences, challenges, and successes in the classroom and the field. Are you an Ecampus student with a story to tell? Contact your advisor to find out how! 

Julie Brinkman
I am a domestic engineer with three young children and a community volunteer. I will be graduating from the Ecampus Fisheries and Wildlife degree program in 2018.
I am currently an Earth Team Volunteer intern with the Natural Resources Conservation Service, which will fulfill my intensive internship requirement for the degree. I am fortunate in that my timing in this role began at the commencement of application by a tribal agency for a large-scale wildlife habitat enhancement project along the Colorado River.
Micah Ashford - Barbados Sea Turtles

Hello, everyone, my name is Micah Ashford and I am a Postbaccalaureate eCampus student here at OSU. I currently live in Barbados where I work with the ongoing conservation efforts of hawksbill sea turtles.

Hawksbill sea turtles (Eretmochelys imbricata) are listed as critically endangered by the IUCN Redlist due to poaching for their colorful and intricately detailed shell. Nesting habitat for this species also continues to degrade due to coastal development, climate change, invasive species, and loss of viable beach habitat due to beach erosion. This is where the Barbados Sea Turtle Project comes in. My job here is to collect important data that can help spur local authorities into action to prevent further loss of habitat and enable laws that grant this species the protection status it needs to survive and thrive while nesting on Barbados, the second largest nesting population of hawksbills in the western hemisphere.

Read more about Micah's project and view the official website for the Barbados Sea Turtle Project.

Frank Nichols
I’m glad I found Oregon State University. Transitioning to a new career takes planning and doesn’t happen overnight. But, OSU’s team of academic advisors and professors in the Fisheries and Wildlife Department were fantastic and helped make my transition a reality. I highly recommend OSU Ecampus for those who want a great education and the flexibility that meets the needs of a working life.
Alen Mosley
"The story of how I became a fisheries biologist is unique and involves a lot of luck."
Alen's journey has had setbacks, but it has been successful as well. With his self-proclaimed luck, and because of Alen's hard work and an ability to not lose sight of his goals, he can share this tale of success.
Lynne Hargett

"The most rewarding aspect of my work is making a difference in the conservation of T&E species and overall biodiversity. Our conservative monitoring approach, although a disturbance to the plover population, provides critical information on population change and reproductive success. These data, along with our dedicated research on impacts of climate change and nesting response to restoration efforts, will continue to inform and guide snowy plover recovery management efforts for years to come. It’s very rewarding to be part of such a great team of scientists striving to perpetuate common goals in conservation to ensure healthy, diverse wildlife populations and inform future efforts to combat climate change."

You can read more about Lynne's journey here!

Marissa Humphreys: A Long and Winding Road

"Over the past few years, I have learned a few things about the wildlife field that I wish I had known beforehand. First, make connections and don’t be afraid to ask questions. Since I have been working in the Federal government, I have learned that it is really about having the right connections at the right time. Some of the opportunities I have had, and may have in the future are because of whom I know. I still talk to my past supervisors, and they are constantly sending me job opportunities that they think might interest me. Second, don’t be afraid to work the jobs that may have nothing to do with the field you are interested in. In the Federal government, after two years (24 months) of service you get what is called “merit” status, which gives you a huge boost when it comes to getting a permanent job, so work any job that can help you get time towards those 24 months. For example, I worked six months at the BLM front desk. For one, it helps you make connections, and it helps you get your foot in the door."

Read about Marissa's journey here. 

Michael Fortier

"Like most non-traditional students my path was anything but a straight line. I had two prior careers: 10 years in the food service industry and 20 years active duty military service in the U.S. Coast Guard. Although I grew up in the inner city, I always had a love of the environment, but it was not a career "people like me" did. Joining the military helped change my negative self-image and gave me the economic opportunity to pursue an academic education."

Read about Michael's journey here. 

Kathryn Herold-Daniels

I gained a much better sense of what fieldwork entailed, how exciting science communication is with a curious audience, and how transferable many of these skills are even when the focal species or habitat changes. The work inspired me so much that I wanted to learn everything I could about marine biology, ecology, and conservation.

Read about Kat's journey here