Why you're interested / excited to be part of this program?
Growing up in a rural small town, I was well aware of the connectedness of nature and people because nature was constantly around me. I loved to explore the pastures at the end of our lawn and find all the wildlife around me. Once I got into high school, and especially in college, my interactions with people from different backgrounds increased. The more I interacted with other students, especially from Lincoln and Omaha, I learned that they didn’t understand how their own actions affect the balance of nature and humanity. I struggled to find a way to bring these two worlds together, especially because it pertains to my future career. This opportunity to intern with One Health has presented the side of conservation that I was looking for, the bridge between humanity and nature. I will be able to see how researchers can build passion towards their project through both people, such as the legislature and health officials, as well as with the field science community, other biologists, and scientists.
What kind of work you're doing in the One Health program / mentors you're working with?
My work with One Health has been broad, but it has allowed me to learn new field tactics as well as new perspectives and effects of pesticide contamination. I have been collecting red-wing blackbird and brown-headed cowbird eggs with former intern Hayden. With Dr. Liz VaWormer, I collected bullfrog and native tadpoles that will be sent to a lab to test for pesticide levels. I have also worked with some of her interns in their study of trapping wild mice to determine the relationship pertaining to Covid-19 with wildlife and people. With UNL’s Bee Lab and Dr. Judy Wu-Smart, I have helped check hives and learned how to evaluate a hive’s health. Additionally, I collected and prepared flower samples around Mead for pesticide testing. I have gotten the opportunity to meet and work with so many amazing, passionate people and I am so thankful for the time they took to share their knowledge and techniques!< Back to Students & Mentors