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What are you up to now?

Tuesday, May 10, 2011
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Cassandra Rivas

REU '08

Mentor: Audrey Barker Plotkin

Project: Forest type transition directly influences the seed bank

Hometown: Edinburgh, TX

College and major: University of Texas-Pan American, class of 2008, Biology/Music

    • What you miss most about the REU program: I miss the east coast forests, the fire tower (great for meditation & an easy get-away), afternoon thunderstorms, and all the wonderful people I met that summer.
    • What you miss least about the REU program: The humidity and mosquitoes.
    • What about the REU program has stuck with you: The field experience (botany/forestry) I gained that summer . It definitely got my foot in the door for other field jobs with agencies such as the Bureau of Land Management, National Park Service, U.S. Geological Survey, and most recently, the U.S. Forest Service.
    • Have you stayed in touch with other REU students? Yes, through Facebook and recently, I met up a few REU buddies in the west coast for some more outdoor adventures!
    • Did your REU experience support or change your school/career plans? Most definitely. Prior to my REU experience I was doing research in a lab and for the most part, hated it. After that summer, I realized I wanted to work outside as much as possible, but not necessarily doing research. That summer, I also decided to take time off before grad school - and couldn't be happier with that decision.
    • What are you up to now? Since my summer at the Harvard Forest and graduating college, I have held many biological science tech positions with various government agencies focusing on conservation & restoration efforts throughout the Sierra Nevada (CA). Recently, I applied to a few master's programs in Natural Resource management, as well as the Field Naturalist program at UVM. This fall (2011) I will be moving to the east coast for my top choice - UVM!
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