Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Federal Work-Study student Emma Howes Researches the Evolution of Communication in Birds and Endangered Animals

Senior year of high school is when I knew that I wanted to major in Biology. The reason I wanted to major in Biology is because I think that learning about the science behind life is fascinating. More specifically, my dream is to research and study animals and the environment. I’ve always loved all kinds of animals and have been interested in how they live mentally, physically, anatomically, and physiologically. I hope to research conservation for animals and the environment to create a healthier place to live for all living creatures in the future. I’m not yet sure what I plan to do after college, but so far, I’m settled on getting my master’s in graduate school. Then I plan on finding a job researching and studying some area related to animals – probably mammals of some sort -- and their environment.

As a research assistant for Dr. Luther, I help with his research on the evolution of communication in birds and endangered animals in the United States. With researching animals and the environment, I imagine that I would have to do some research like this, gathering information from databases and the internet, along with going out to gather my own data.

On a weekly basis, I usually research information related to the task given to me and then I type it up either as a Word document or an Excel spreadsheet. Throughout the week, I report back to Dr. Luther on the progress I’ve made. Once I’m done, I inform Dr. Luther and then he gives me another task to research. There are multiple people working on different parts of this project. The project has not been completed yet, so there are no conclusive results.

This research job has been a good learning experience for me and has given me a taste of what I might be doing in the future and that is what most interested me in this job. I will carry this experience throughout my life and incorporate what I’ve learned into my own research one day.