There are so many great things about Warnell that it is hard to talk about them all. The professors know your name and your interest. Classes are small and labs are really hands on, and the education is one of the best of the best! One other great thing that really stands about Warnell and is one of my favorites are the Warnell Summers!
Summers, when you are a Warnell student, are great. You can get a life-changing opportunity that might provide you with some lucrative chances for when you graduate. Warnell can even help you see the world! At least that is what happened to me this summer, and something I know that happens to a lot of my classmates.
This summer I went to the other side of the world and traveled around New Zealand and Australia for 4 weeks studying sustainability and animal behavior. I was so happy that it was finally my turn to experience the world. I’ve heard so many great stories about experiences some of my Warnell friends have had from traveling to places like, Costa Rica, South Africa, Botswana and Fiji. Some students have even traveled to Antarctica.
My travels this summer exposed me to several different cultures, concepts and career opportunities, all while I took two classes and received 7 applicable credits in subjects that I love. It was an unforgettable experience that though I could appreciate without my Warnell background, I think was that much better because of its connection to Warnell.
After a 12 hour flight back to the states, I soon started an internship that gave me a real taste of what I might be doing once I’m finished with school. Warnell has this really interesting class (several really), taught be Dr. Mengak, called Wildlife Damage. Wildlife Damage is a class that teaches students about techniques necessary to work with human-wildlife conflicts, and the weekly lab is taught be a Wildlife Services employee. It also led me to an internship with Wildlife Services.
I learned so much in the class and enjoyed the lab so much that when internship opportunities opened up, I was quick to apply and delighted to be hired. Wildlife Services is a division under APHIS, which is in the USDA, and their employees specialize in managing human-wildlife conflicts. They trap beavers, remove their dams, trap meso-carnivores and feral pigs that are giving land owners problems, and so many other really cool things.
The summer is often the slow season for wildlife management, but I did some great things that I couldn’t have learned anywhere else. Though it might seem random, my favorite project while at work was the goose round-up. It was crazy; it wasn’t too strange for one or two geese to get away while we were leading them into pens, and we would have to take off into the woods after it. There were literal wild goose chases, and sometimes they really got the better of me. I even have scars on my arms from some not-so-nice geese, but we Warnellians are nothing if not a little crazy, at least enough to go running through the woods after a temporarily flightless, 8-pound bird.