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Undergraduate Student

Britney Kreiner

Senior, Fisheries Science

As a teenager, I despised school and had decided that college wasn’t for me. I managed to graduate a year early and began working in the restaurant business, trying to save up enough money to go back to my roots and thru-hike the Appalachian Trail. After several long years, I never did manage to get out of there, and I grew frustrated with the same daily routines and the lack of opportunity for advancement in my life. What many others my age had accepted as fact from the very beginning finally began to sink in — I had to go to college if I wanted to make something of myself.

Still not knowing what I wanted to do, I enrolled in classes at Germanna Community College and worked simultaneously to pay my way. I discovered a love of learning that I never knew I had, and before long I had graduated with my associate of science degree. In my last semester at community college, I took a class about the environment and began working as a full- time wildlife rehabilitation volunteer, nursing fawns, raccoons, opossums, and many species of birds. These events, along with my love of the outdoors, influenced my decision to go to Virginia Tech and join the College of Natural Resources and Environment.

While I enjoy my work with wildlife, fish have been my passion since watching several documentaries when I was younger. I was always the one embarrassing my friends and family by whipping out my sustainable seafood pocket guide in restaurants and interrogating the servers. Though I never thought I would find myself pursuing a degree in fisheries science and studying to become a scientist, now that I am here, I’d never choose to be anywhere else.

The American Fisheries Society has been a huge factor in my continuing success, both on campus and as a professional. Since it’s a small field filled with such amazing and innovative people, fisheries feels more like family to me than a job. One day I hope to utilize my skills and passion in influencing sustainable methods and policies for commercial marine fisheries in order to help feed our growing world in the future.

Honors and Awards

  • Dean’s List, fall 2012, spring 2013

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