TREE Interview #5: Sarah Mitchell

Welcome to the fifth of the TREE interviews! Click HERE to read more about the TREE program and its relevance to my book, RIVER’S EDGE.

Today I (Erin) am interviewing Sarah Mitchell!

Sarah, working the caliper!

Sarah, working the caliper!

E:  Hi Sarah! Tell us the year you were at Thomson Causeway.

S:   I started my work at Turtle Camp in early June of 2012.

E:  At the time, were you a student in high school, college, or graduate school? If you were conducting research, what was your focus?

S:    I was just beginning my graduate studies at the time. I was focusing on getting a feel for the TREE program and the research program at Turtle Camp to help me think about the directions my graduate research could take, since I’ll be there for the next four years.

E:  How did you first decide to participate in the TREE program?

S:    Since biology is a large part of my life and a pressing current issue, I’m passionate about outreach and education. The TREE program played a significant part in my decision to go to Iowa State, and I was excited to participate!

E:  What was your favorite part of TREE?

S:    Working with the high school students! They’re a lot of fun, and I really enjoyed sharing field work experiences with them.

E:  Can you share an anecdote or funny story about your time there?

S:    Hmm… one of my favorite parts of TREE was trying to catch a racer (very fast snake) in the sand prairie with a group of the TREE students. We didn’t catch it, but the chase was fun!

E:  How did TREE benefit you later in your education or career?

S:    For me, TREE is a great way to develop skills in education and outreach. I feel that my generation of biologists needs to engage the public and educate students to an unprecedented degree, and I’m grateful for the chance to hone those techniques.

E:  Who would you recommend the TREE program to, and why?

S:    I’d recommend it to anyone with a good work ethic, positive attitude, and a curious mind. I think TREE is a great opportunity to learn about ecology, engage the natural world, and meet interesting people!

Sarah, thanks so much for taking the time to answer my questions! I love your enthusiasm for sharing biology with students and the public. Good luck with your graduate studies!  😉 

Readers, 10% of RIVER’S EDGE sales through May 5th will be donated to the TREE program. Help support future turtle research and young biologists!  


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