Saturday, October 5, 2013

Here I go again! I'm sitting in the Albany International Airport awaiting my flight to Chicago then to Milwaukee! I'm attending the 2013 National Wildlife Society Conference in Wisconsin this coming week. I've been looking forward to attending this conference for months, especially since I found out in June that I had been accepted to present a poster on black bear work I have been involved with for the past 3 years. I consider myself quite fortunate to have been connected with people at Finger Lakes Community College and also who are facilitating the National Science Foundation grant that FLCC administrates: the Community College Undergraduate Research Inititative.

I came into FLCC just as the CCURI grant was awarded (Finger Lakes Community College Earns $3.35 Million Grant) and my professor/advisor (John at Backyard Beasts) is also a co-principal investigator of the grant. I began studying in John's Black Bear Management class at FLCC, and learning about this interesting and understudied type of marking and behaviors that black bears have been observed creating. I began reading everything I could about black bears, and eventually John suggested presenting our class's work at a local student science conference (Rochester Academy of Science). I put together a 12(ish) minute long oral presentation, and started on a "quest" of sorts. I didn't realize at the time that in a few short years, I would be applying and getting accepted to national conferences with this topic. Since that first presentation, I've presented at: the Finger Lakes Institute Research Conference, the Northeastern Natural History Conference, the State University of NY Undergraduate Research Symposium, CCURI's own 1st national conference, and the National Conference of Undergraduate Research. It's amazing to me.

I am just so grateful to John, and Jim Hewlett (the brilliant man who wrote the grant, and who is now it's executive director) for all they are doing for URs like myself. There are countless others who have made this thing possible for me and other students, and I give you all a shout out as well!

So off I go! If you're at the TWS conference this week, perhaps we'll run into eachother.
John and I at the Quabbin Reservoir in Massachusetts this past summer, posing next to a bear-scratched and bitten red pine.


  1. Great news Alyssa, you will absolutely " WOW" them all there, and so true, these opportunities are made possible by some very forward thinking people, and all thanks to them, wherever they are. Have a great time. Cheers, Jean.

  2. Was that you that asked a question about blog/publication liability and consent during the "Uncertainty of an undergrad" panel? I thought the story sounded kind of familiar!


Thank you for reading and wishing to leave a comment! Unfortunately, due to a high number of spam comments being left under the "Anonymous" heading, I had to disable that feature. You may still leave a comment with a Gmail account, or under the OpenID option! I welcome comments, suggestions, stories, and tall tales!