Thursday, March 20, 2014

SNRE names outstanding students

The 2013-2014 outstanding students have been selected: Nicole Warner, Katie Shink, Michael Sybert and Michael Quinn.

Nicole Warner, representing Humans and the Environment, grew  up in Eagle River. She was influenced heavily by her father's outdoor lifestyle. "I liked to be with him and see the wildlife and go fishing," she said.

Nicole Warner
She chose the Humans and the Environment concentration of Natural Resources Management because she wanted to explore how people interacted with nature and wildlife. "I've learned a lot of different aspects and I love seeing the involvement," she said.

One of the most memorable classes she took was Soils and the Environment. "I never would have thought of it," Warner said. "You get to see some cool, quirky things."

As a freshman, Warner worked in a plant pathology lab and this year as a junior, in an earth science paleontology lab. She also helps a graduate student with researching the bill loads of puffins, identifying the fish the birds eat.

Warner likes the smallness and closeness of SNRE. "I like seeing all the professors hanging out and talking together and I like the opportunities students have to get involved in internships, things like looking through bear scat."

Her goal is to continue to pursue the field she fell in love with. In free time she enjoys writing songs, playing the guitar and hiking.

Katie Shink
Katie Shink, representing High Latitude Agriculture, hails from Spokane, and came to UAF to try something new. "I knew I wanted to do something with natural resources or biology," she said. "I looked through the catalogs of several schools and this fit my interests."

The senior said she has been given lots of opportunities in the Institute of Arctic Biology greenhouse and helping with fisheries management decisions while working with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Conducting research for her senior thesis, Shink focused on fisheries and lamprey habitat.

"Senior thesis has honestly been one of the most beneficial things," she said. "It gave me an opportunity to conduct research and see what areas I could improve in. It gives you new exposure."

Shink's goal is a career in fisheries biology, but first she intends to pursue a master's degree. "I want an excuse to stay in Alaska," she said.

She enjoys fishing and traveling.

Michael Sybert
Michael Sybert is the Forest Sciences outstanding student. He grew up in Jensen Beach, Fla., and served in the U.S. Army from 2008 to 2012. He is currently in the National Guard and his wife is in the Army, stationed at Fort Wainwright. He studied biochemistry at the University of Tampa before joining the Army.

He selected natural resources management because he loves the outdoors and doesn't want a desk job. "Working intelligence in the Army I was staring at a computer 12 hours a day," he said. "I'm looking for a job outdoors."

With two young sons, Sybert doesn't get much recreational time, but when he does, he loves hunting and fishing.

Michael Quinn, who represents Geography, was raised in Surrey, B.C., outside of Vancouver. A Nanook hockey player, he chose UAF for the opportunity to play on the team. He thought Geography would be an interesting major.

A senior who will graduate in May, Quinn said he will remember the people of SNRE. "Everyone from the students to the professors was very enjoyable to be around and learn from," he said. "They made my experience here at UAF a very memorable one."

Michael Quinn
He wants to play hockey as long as possible and then pursue joining the Royal Canadian Mounted Police officer. When it isn't hockey season, Quinn enjoys playing golf.

Playing hockey for UAF has been an experience unlike any other, Quinn stated. "Most of all, playing hockey and going to school at the same time forced me to learn to manage my time. I will never forget what the school has done for me the p ast four years and it is something I will never forget."

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