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Undergraduate Student

Alex Garretson

Senior, Wildlife Science and Theatre Arts

I spent the early years of my life in Massachusetts, splitting my time between Andover and Boston. At that point I was living in an extremely urban environment with little contact with “wilderness.” Even so, my interest in wild animals flourished. I can remember very early on escaping the city limits with my dad to go looking for frogs. I eventually moved to Rockville, Md., where I continued my hobby of catching amphibians. Rockville was much more of a suburban area and I was able to spend more time exploring the outdoors. However it wasn’t until I took my first trip to Yellowstone National Park in my early teens that I decided I wanted to study wildlife as a career. It was there that my fondness for animals turned into a fascination with ecology.

In addition to studying wildlife at Virginia Tech, I have participated in various research projects at the university. For the past two years I have served as a technician in Dr. Carola Haas’s Southern Appalachian Silviculture and Biodiversity Project. In the summer of 2012 I also participated in the Fralin Life Science Institute Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship program, examining foraging behavior in loggerhead shrikes. Aside from wildlife, theater has also been a passion of mine. I have participated in many productions on campus and am also a member an improve comedy troupe called Kasual Komedy Club. I have even added a secondary major in theatre arts.

When I’m not doing work for school or something theater related, I enjoy hiking, camping, birding, fishing, and herping. I am also a film fanatic and always love a good movie! After graduation I plan to gain more field experience in wildlife and eventually attend graduate school to study herpetology.

Honors and Awards

  • Fralin Life Science Institute Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship, 2012

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