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Undergraduate Student

Maeghan Klinker

Majors: Wildlife Conservation + English

Expected Graduation Date: May 2019

My name is Maeghan Klinker, and I am a sophomore double majoring in Wildlife Conservation and English with a concentration in Literature and Language. While these majors may initially seem like an unusual combination, I find that they build off of each other in ways that work very well together. This past summer, I volunteered with the Smithsonian National Zoo as an interpreter for a travelling art exhibit called Washed Ashore. As an interpreter, I engaged visitors in conversations about the effect of oceanic plastic pollution, particularly on marine wildlife, and what they could do to help. This allowed me to use skills learned in my English classes to educate visitors on an issue that I am passionate about and taught me a very important lesson: people won't be motivated to make a difference if you only convey doom, you have to empower them and make them realize that they can make a difference. I plan to use my English major to enhance communication with people about wildlife and the environment and empower them to take an interest in sustainability. 

In addition to my Wildlife Conservation major, I serve on the executive team of The Wildlife Society chapter at Virginia Tech as Animal Care Chair. I have been involved with the chapter since I was a freshman, and as part of The Wildlife Society I have participated in biological surveys, river clean ups, education events, and many other activities that have enabled me to become involved in environmental conservation and spread my enthusiasm for sustainability. I am also a member of the National Society for Collegiate Scholars and Xi Sigma Pi, a natural resource honor society. My goal is to further incorporate my Wildlife Conservation and English degrees to communicate science in a way that promotes understanding and engagement in others. I am interested in doing field work and writing about issues such as development and habitat fragmentation, oceanic plastic pollution and its effect on wildlife, and most importantly how every person can contribute to sustainability.

    Headshot of Maeghan Klinker

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