Thank you, TAMU and RWFM
The almost two years that I have been an Aggie have flown by. Now, I am getting ready to graduate with my master’s degree in Rangeland, Wildlife, and Fisheries Management. Graduating requires me to finish up the last few spring courses on my degree plan and to wrap up my master’s thesis. My thesis is a four-part paper detailing a few aspects of my graduate project, in which I worked with a variety of partners to support planning for the reintroduction of an additional population of endangered ocelots in Texas. I will be presenting my thesis - and defending my work - to a room full of my committee members and others from my department on May 8. After my thesis defense, I will work to make any additional changes to my thesis before submitting it to the Graduate and Professional School and, finally, getting my degree in August.
The ends of both the school year and of my thesis work provide a great time to celebrate what I have done thus far and also to say thank you to the Rangeland, Wildlife, and Fisheries Management (RWFM) department plus all of Texas A&M. I recently got to attend an RWFM department-wide end-of-the-school-year event put on by the department and associated student organizations. This event was dubbed the “Beast Feast,” as it was a potluck-style dinner featuring a variety of wild fish and game dishes. Entrees ranged from fried catfish to quail to pronghorn. Plus, there were a whole lot of desserts. The event was a celebration of the fish and wildlife that sustain us as well as the important role of RWFM’s hunters, anglers, students, scientists, and natural resource managers, all of who contribute to fish and wildlife conservation work in Texas and beyond.
During the Beast Feast, I was fortunate to be recognized as one of the department’s four outstanding master’s students for this school year. It was an honor to earn this award from the department, and I felt lucky to be recognized for the work I’ve done this last school year. I am very grateful to my graduate advisor - Dr. Roel Lopez - and all of the faculty, staff, and graduate students within RWFM for supporting me these last two years and honoring me with this award. The RWFM community has allowed me to take interesting classes, conduct a dream research project, partake in meaningful discussions, and advance my career in wildlife conservation. Thank you to everyone at RWFM for the opportunities I have been given. And, thank you to all in RWFM for your constant kindness. I am glad to have been a part of this department.
I also want to say a thank you to Texas A&M for providing so many resources to me. I was fortunate to be supported by the University as an Aviles-Johnson Fellow these last two years. Various programs at A&M and the Graduate and Professional School, such as G.R.A.D Aggies, the Graduate Mentoring Academy, and the Center for the Integration of Research, Teaching, and Learning have also highly enhanced my experience. I’m glad to have so many different workshops and events to attend, and it was always a pleasure to meet students from all across the Graduate and Professional School. Thank you to Texas A&M for providing these programs, and thanks to all who I crossed paths with during my time as an Aggie.