Even though I grew up playing in the dirt and had a natural interest in the sciences from an early age, my path to entomology and the Doctor of Plant Medicine program is a bit atypical. I received a bachelor of fine arts degree in Interactive Media Design in 2007 and worked as a web developer in Northern Virginia. Eventually my yearning for outdoor spaces could no longer be ignored and I joined the AmeriCorps Florida State Parks program which was followed by my hiring as a park ranger in the Florida Park Service. I got to work intimately with Florida’s natural communities and learned a lot about land management and the threats invasive species pose upon our natural resources. I gained experience treating invasive plants and using prescribed fire to maintain habitat in addition to public outreach. During my employment as a ranger I began my master’s degree in Entomology online through the University of Florida’s distance program. I learned of the DPM program through my exploration of entomology career paths. Insects and plants are so deeply intertwined and the multidisciplinary approach of the DPM program will have me well-positioned when I begin my career as an entomologist and plant professionoal.
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