Coming to Warnell has given me a great perspective on life, invaluable opportunities for my future, and allowed me to meet some of the most amazing people who I hope to stay connected with as we all advance and grow in our professional and social endeavors. When looking back at Warnell there are many things that I will remember: countless hours between the computer lab (201), the lounge, and vertebrate natural history (vert) lab, struggling to memorize 2 million and 3 scientific names as well as identify skulls smaller than your palm, and wandering through the woods of Whitehall Forest enough to know the terrain better than the back of your hand. Between all of this, two memories stick out in particular: the Sapelo Island field trip for vertebrate natural history, and forestry conclaves.
There are no words that can sum up the Sapelo Island trip unless you were there to live it: late night bat mist-netting and armadillo hunting throughout the island, early morning rat catching or bird mist-netting, exploring the mansion and riding in the back of the truck with good friends, and splashing in the waves at the beach and alligator hunting. Simply put, the friendships and memories of these moments cannot be put into words; you’ll have to experience it to truly understand.
My first year as a professional student was the year UGA hosted the 53rd Annual Associate of Southern Forestry Clubs Conclave. We ended up taking 3rd place that year and I discovered my underlying hidden talent and passion: cross-cutting and ax-throwing. Through my participation in conclave and the forestry club have I truly discovered my passion in life – trees, the field of forestry. I have gained friends and best friends over the years through forestry club, but I have also found my calling in life and the path I want my career to take. All of this I can attribute to trying something new and actively participating in one of Warnell’s biggest events, conclave.