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This Month's Expert: Amanda Clark

Amanda Clark is a graduate student in the Department of Biological Sciences at Auburn University and an NSF graduate fellow. She uses molecular techniques to learn about ecology. Amanda is also runs an ecology camp for kids in Alabama. In her free time Amanda enjoys hanging out with friends, crocheting and hiking. Amanda will be our expert for the month of September. Maybe you share her love for animals or her passion for science? Or you have questions for Amanda? She would love to hear from you and will be responding to your questions in each article. Do check out Amanda's three-part story...

My Path To Science

In high school, I already knew I wanted to work in science! I’ve always wanted to answer the question: Why does this happen and how? I was a part of a team called B.E.S.T., which stands for B oosting E ngineering S cience and T echnology. Teams would work together to build robots that could complete jobs in a competition. In my first year, we had to build a robot that could fix a problem with the Hubble Space Telescope -- a telescope that was launched into outer space in 1990 and that is still taking really amazing photos of space today! Our robot had to turn off a switch, just like your...

What Is Ecology?

People who are studying connections between living things or between living things and the environment are called ecologists. Ecology is all about relationships, or connections! Ecology seeks to answer questions about how living things are linked together like, “What is the connection between sharks and remoras, the cool suckerfish that can be seen clinging to sharks?” It seeks to answer questions about how living things are linked to certain habitats like, “Why can you only find the pink land iguana on one of the Galapagos Islands?” Ecology even seeks to answer questions about human...

Amanda Clark

Amanda Clark is a graduate student in the Department of Biological Sciences at Auburn University and an NSF graduate fellow. She uses molecular techniques to learn about ecology.

Amanda is also runs an ecology camp for kids in Alabama. In her free time Amanda enjoys hanging out with friends, crocheting and hiking.

Following My Love For Animals

During my early childhood years, I would spend time with my step-dad in Alabama, fishing and hiking through the woods. This is where I found my first box turtle crossing a busy road. I rescued the animal out of harm’s way. Without money for afterschool programs and sports, I would spend my spare time catching crawfish, tadpoles, frogs, and making home-made fishing poles. I would catch minnows in buckets, and use the minnows to catch larger fish, primarily sunfish, crappie, and catfish. I moved back to Chicago in the 3rd grade and became saddened that I was unable to swim at local beaches and...

What Is Wildlife Biology?

The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, plants, and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. Our agency’s programs are among the oldest in the world. A wildlife biologist is someone who studies and/or manages wild animals and their habitats. They observe and document how wildlife interact with their environment. Wildlife biologists also study the physical characteristics of animals and their behaviors. They look at the impact (both positive and negative) that humans have on wildlife and natural habitats...

My Work As A Wildlife Biologist

As a wildlife biologist at the Savanna refuge, I have a job with many duties. I work on a turtle headstart program, help manage fish and ducks, and increase public awareness of wildlife. One major project I’ve been involved in is overseeing the conservation and restoration of the ornate box turtle population in Illinois state. These turtles, which live in sand prairies, are facing a huge threat. Their habitats have declined significantly primarily due to development, agriculture, and farming. Habitat loss is a huge factor threatening the survival of these turtles. Then there are predators...

Jeramie Strickland

Jeramie Strickland is a Wildlife Biologist with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. He works at the Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge, which is one of the most visited refuges in the nation.

Carolina Grandellis: My Personal Story

My interest in science began with my curiosity of the natural world around me when I was a child. My father told me that I was full of questions, always asking about insects and plants in the garden, and wondering why it rained. He had a busy job trying to answer all my questions, trying to explain to me things like the water cycle. I recall that I wanted to be a doctor or a designer, and biology was not my favorite subject during high school. However, there was a turning point when I became fascinated with genes and DNA. It was absolutely remarkable to me to learn that every living organism...

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