Alaska Dive Semester

My global challenge is studying the conservation of native fisheries, specifically anadromous species. I have a strong connection to the chinook salmon, sockeye, and steelhead runs that spawn in the rivers and streams around my hometown, Salmon ID. This is the longest salmon migration in the world, and these populations are in peril from both habitat loss and passage barriers along their migration corridor. I have studied these issues in their spawning grounds of the upper Salmon River watershed, and I wanted to extend my experience to the ocean. In spring semester of 2022, I attended a program called the Alaska Dive Semester that is offered by the University of Alaska SE and is based in the coastal community of Sitka. This unique program provides a small cohort of 15 students with the opportunity to earn an Occupational Endorsement Certificate in Scientific Diving that includes certifications in rescue and cold-water dry suit diving, a small vessel operator license, and a scientific diving internship. It sounded like the perfect opportunity to live in an ecologically rich fisheries hub while gaining experience in field techniques and diving.

The Alaska Dive Semester was the most eye-opening, learning intensive, and physically demanding four months of my life. Having never scuba dove before, within the first two weeks (mid-January) I was diving in a dry suit in 34-degree Fahrenheit water in the Sitka Sound. By the first month, I could perform rescue procedures for diving accidents or cold-water exposure emergencies and was certified in providing oxygen and CPR through the Diver’s Alert Network. By the second month I was learning underwater data collection techniques, identifying marine invertebrates and fish, and using technical equipment like lift bags to deploy heavy ocean exploration instruments. By the end of the semester, my classmates and I were making our own dive plans and float plans to complete our scientific diving internship. We designed and carried out transects in Macrocystis Kelp forests to determine ecological community structures and sampled for Didemnum vexillum, an invasive tunicate species.

The skiff handling and outboard maintenance experience I gained from the program made it possible for me to stay in Alaska for the summer and work as a fisheries technician on sockeye and chum salmon runs in Yakutat, AK and Juneau, AK. Salmon fishing is a pillar of life in southeast Alaska, so I was able to see firsthand the impact of the fisheries on the local economy and culture. I learned that the Tongass National Forest is intrinsically tied to the health of salmon runs. From diving all semester, I saw how important marine habitat is for anadromous fish to carry out their life cycle, and then witnessed during my summer work how marine health effects escapement rates in freshwater systems. These fish are a keystone species to say the least.

Aside from the invaluable skills I learned and the understanding I gained for Alaska fisheries; I also had a blast diving in arguably the world’s best cold-water diving location. Some dives I would descend when it was snowing and ascend to sunshine. I saw a variety of sea life including sea otters, Pacific octopus, wolf eels, nudibranchs, rockfish and greenlings, herring, and sunflower stars. I had a few close encounters with 900-pound sea lions and went on frigid night dives to see the water lit up with bioluminescence. I drove skiffs in rough sea conditions, backcountry skied on my time off, watched humpback whales bubble net feed, and learned about the indigenous Tlingit and Haida tribes’ history in the area and current subsistence practices. It was a life changing experience, and I plan on returning in the future.

Yes COVID – And , the travel bug

If the travel bug were real, I’d be infested. And I’m sure I caught it the moment I stepped off the plane in Lyon, France where I would spend the past year studying international politics and French literature. 

I joined the sizable cohort of international students at Université Jean Moulin in Lyon during the turbulent COVID pandemic, when the existence of such a program was under stress from a myriad of health and safety concerns. I think there’s interest in the idea that two very different viruses — COVID (real) and the travel bug (not real) — would exist in the same plane for me during that year. 

The lens through which COVID asked that I perceived the world revealed so much about my global theme and challenge. In fact, it really redefined culture and politics by putting them into quotidian terms. For instance, the diversity of cultures within Europe, already a small sliver of global diversity, insists that culture isn’t an abstraction to be experienced for a few months by airplane, but instead a lens through which we define our own existence. At the risk of getting too metaphysical, I realized while abroad that a theme like culture and politics is more about how we name the world than it is about what that world superficially looks like. 

The guiding principal for me right now is a ‘Yes – And’ : it’s the idea that two things can be true at once, and that there’s always a third truth next to them. 

Naming the world for me began at the academic level. I sat among French students in classes on topics ranging from fundamental rights and liberties in European courts to medieval poetry in early France to the geomorphology of water-based landscapes in the time of climate change. Diversity is a word that comes up a lot when we talk about culture, and it certainly applies to academic culture as well as social culture. This diverse set of subjects affirms that the perspectives with which I approach my degrees are not mutually exclusive. I can look at the world from both a cultural and a political stance, from both a literary and a scientific stance, or from both a pragmatic and an abstract stance. Understanding academics in this way indicates that nothing exists in isolation, and that interdependence is the defining quality of global culture. 

Naming the world continued and found its peak impact for me while travelling. This is where diversity in the classic sense returns, as I started to think of seemingly distinct countries like Finland, Tunisia, Malta, and so many others in terms of their interdependence. Oftentimes, though, I’ve been surprised by how pervasive that interdependence can be. In an example, a pastry vendor in Marrakech, Morocco, related to my travel friends and I that he used to work in the tourism industry, directing visitors to popular attractions around this part of north-western Africa. During COVID, when travel declined, that business practically dried up. In order to remain economically afloat, he pivoted to baking as a (hopefully) temporary position to support his family. It’s startling that we all experienced the COVID pandemic in very diverse ways, but more importantly that our personal privileges dictated how severely we were each impacted.

More profoundly, the way we each pivot during stressful moments is so indicative of how we have learned to name the world. It’s overly simplistic, but I like the sentiment that we are all just piles of organs trying to make correct decisions.

As I transition back into a more ‘stationary’ education here at UM, I continue to think about the uniqueness of those two viruses existing simultaneously. The globe is stocked with ‘Yes – And’s. I hope that I can let multiple truths exist together, and that I can let them guide my evolutive naming of the world. 

Administrative Intern for Senator Grassley in Washington D.C.

This summer I was an Administrative Intern for Senator Grassley in his Washington D.C. office. Working in the U.S. Capital for one of the most senior influential senators was an amazing experience. I gained valuable experience developing knowledge of my theme of Culture and Politics specifically addressing the challenge of how to move beyond political polarization and gridlock. Senator Grassley prides himself as a bipartisan leader throughout his years of public service. Working on the Hill gave me insight as to how legislation is passed and its effects on not just American constituents but foreign relations as well. 

Working on the Hill this summer among the brightest minds of the nation gave me valuable insight into the fast-paced culture that is required to make it in the political world and make an influential impact. I did not expect the offices to be composed of young professionals not too much older than myself. This realization gave me a newfound sense of confidence and excitement to think that one day I could be working and making an impact on a federal level. The fast-paced culture I referred to is seen as young professionals come into entry level positions and quickly either thrive or find out quickly that the Hill is not the right path for them. 

In my position, I worked a lot with constituents appeasing their concerns and requests. This experience allowed me to see constituents’ reactions to legislation passed during my time there such as the PACT Act and the Inflation Reduction Act. I also had the privilege to accompany the Senator on both television and radio interviews. As the Senator is coming into an election year, the importance of the media and its portrayal of their work is emphasized as I saw senators vote in a surprising way to ensure their constituents’ approval. 

Memorable accounts during my time in D.C. would include the conversations I had with Senator Grassley. He was incredibly gracious and kind as he went out of his way to get to know us interns, which is something many senators do not do. We had many conversations about Montana, which he was very fond of, having spent time on a ranch years back. He took us to breakfast and on a tour of the Senate Floor showing us incredible things such as the historic desks with names etched from previous senators in those seats. 

With the support of the Franke Global Leadership Fellowship, I was able to gain leadership skills working in a political office communicating and networking with influential leaders of our country.

The Lincoln Memorial and Reflecting Pool at sunset
The United States Capital Building

Interning in Washington D.C.

This summer I interned in Washington D.C. for Senator Bennet from Colorado, with a focus on my global theme: Culture and Politics. 

Interning in the Senate was an incredible, eye-opening experience. Every day I felt like I left having learned something new. For the internship, I was assigned to both Senator Bennet’s foreign policy and natural resources/ energy teams. Part of my role consisted of attending briefings and committee hearings for the team so they could then better advise the Senator. These briefings and hearings were incredible learning opportunities as they often covered complex, minute policy issues that were not covered in the news. For instance, at one of the Energy and Natural Resource committee hearings the Senators had a bipartisan discussion with panelists from across the nation about how to further reduce the potential for leaks from Liquified Natural Gas storage tanks. The briefings were particularly interesting because they featured top experts from fields ranging from cryptocurrency to food waste who gave in-depth explanations of the major policy struggles facing the U.S. in the coming years. 

Although I did not expect it, I found the work I did for the foreign affairs team to be the most interesting part of the internship. Assisting Bennet’s foreign affairs team provided a whole new education on how the U.S. interacts with other nations and how foreign policy has evolved in recent years. The area I was mainly assigned to focus on was supply chains, and it was interesting to see how complex supply chains truly are and to learn about all the different considerations policymakers take into consideration when attempting to organize a supply chain. It was also interesting to see how combatting and reversing the rise of China provided a bipartisan organizing principle that seemed to underlay every foreign policy briefing and committee hearing.

Beyond the internship, living in DC alone provided an incredible learning experience. The city was more diverse in every way possible than anything I had ever experienced before and it provided an opportunity to learn about new cultures and go to events that I hadn’t been exposed to previously. For instance, on the National Mall, the Smithsonian held various cultural events, and one event featured a group of Omanis talking about the struggles of preserving their culinary traditions while living in a foreign country and urban environment.

The internship was a remarkable learning experience. It opened my eyes to a whole new world and taught me how to excel in an entirely different environment. Over the course of the internship my personal, as well as professional skills, were strengthened. I gained newfound confidence in myself and became more sure in my leadership skills.

Interning for the health & happiness of all

In addition to its threat to societal growth and harmony, social inequality can arise in medicine when prejudice is tolerated in healthcare settings or certain people are denied the opportunity to achieve their best health. I have always felt strongly about the injustice of treating others with prejudice and the unequal allocation of opportunities to certain members of society. For this reason, I chose social inequality and human rights as my GLI Global Theme and Challenge. Through my internship at Mountain States Diabetes Clinic, I ensured that all patients felt equally cared for and respected. 

In the summer of 2021 I began my internship at Mountain States Diabetes Clinic. As an intern for Dr. Miller, my main responsibilities included drawing blood, patient intake, and collection and documentation of vital signs. We mostly saw patients in her clinic, but there were times when I joined her for a home visit or met her at a clinic in Hamilton, where she sees patients that live in the Bitterroot Valley. I have experience working as a phlebotomist and nurse assistant, so I felt pretty comfortable with certain tasks, such as vitals signs and lab draws. Even so, I gained an extensive amount of knowledge and experience that is undeniably valuable. 

Possibly the most beneficial experience that came from my internship was connecting with and learning from patients who are veterans and patients with diabetes. At the hospital, I come across these patients often, but I was never able to talk with them for long or learn more about their lives and diagnoses. At Dr. Miller’s clinic, certain days were dedicated to veteran exams. I was able to room these patients, collect their vital signs, and draw their blood. Many veterans shared their experiences with me, allowing me to reflect on the hidden trauma of people around us and the importance of being kind and sensitive to all. It is always a challenge to listen to a person’s pain and determine the best way to respond, but I have found that the more patients I listen to, the better I am at being an active, comforting listener. Furthermore, the clinic’s focus on diabetes care allowed me to learn about common medications, specific medical knowledge, and practice new skills, such as collecting and processing an A1C blood sample. 

Learning from Dr. Miller and helping to care for her patients was an experience I will always hold dear to my heart. Dr. Miller is the best doctor I know and I can sincerely say I look up to her in every way. My excitement to start physician assistant school continues to grow because of my work at Mountain States Diabetes and the reassurance that my educators could be as caring and supportive as Hayley Miller. This internship has made me a better caregiver, student, and future physician assistant, and words cannot fully express how grateful I am for that. 

Remote Accounting/IT Internship

This summer I was an intern for KPMG’s Los Angeles office, remote from Missoula, Montana. I was operating primarily in the Governance and Risk Compliance practice, but I also got exposure to the Application Security and Controls practice by working through their spreadsheets on a semi-regular basis. Being fully remote, technology played a critical role in my internship. I would get on my laptop in the morning and work independently and with peers via Microsoft Teams for the full day. Being a part of the Technology and Society GLI theme, I enjoyed this experience very much simply by looking at the work from the perspective of a GLI student instead of an intern. The work I was doing focused heavily on technology, and how to use tech to make business processes more efficient. I learned a lot about how major enterprises manage and organize all of their resources online, and saw how people are affected by modern technology on an individual scale. 

The culture of Los Angeles may be vastly different than what I am accustomed to growing up in Montana, but I really didn’t have any problems finding my way in the internship. I think that company policies and virtual connection puts everyone on a similar playing field, since nobody has too much of a disadvantage by being located elsewhere. This made it easy for me to find opportunities as a leader, since I could step into a leadership position with people from all over the country. At one point in the experience, we grouped up with several interns from different offices and practices, and came up with plans to help the environment on a corporate level. I ended up being the lead of our group, and was able to assign slides and roles to each person in our team. Even with all of us on a Teams call, we delivered a fully-prepared PowerPoint presentation with a strong plan of action. Everyone had a part to play, and the whole team had fun working on the project together. 

A lot of the job this summer was training, since KPMG would like interns to come back as full-time associates. I have since accepted a full-time offer from the firm, and plan to move to Los Angeles after I graduate in May of 2023. I had a great experience and learned a lot about the functions of major corporations that I didn’t know before. I believe that technology is going to be integral in solving a lot of worldwide problems in the future, but there are many perspectives throughout different societies that need to be taken into account. I look forward to working for KPMG after my time at the University of Montana, and the GLI program provided me with a great set of leadership skills and varied perspectives to take with me into this internship experience.

Barcelona, Spain – New Perspective on Work-Life Balance

This summer I interned for a venture capitalist called Bcombinator located in Barcelona, Spain as a data analyst. 

Spain is a beautiful country with a unique culture full of rich history. Living in Barcelona for the entirety of the summer I learned how to adapt to my surroundings. Among all the ways in which I assimilated into Spain the most difficult cultural aspect for me to adopt was the lifestyle pace. I don’t feel comfortable generalizing the entire population of Spain based solely on my experience but while I was there I saw strong importance placed on immediate relationships. Any stress that is put on a relationship due to work is out of the question. 

Prioritizing immediate relationships over career success is quite contrary to the competitive work culture in the United States. For as long as I can remember I have always strived to be the best. Whether that meant climbing to a higher branch than my older brother or collecting the most donations for a fundraising event. There’s a part of me that always desires to outshine everyone else. 

Towards the end of my internship, I made a trip to Granada, Spain to visit a friend I had made last semester at UM. Pablo was born and raised in Granada and came to UM to continue his studies. Living in his household for the two nights I was in Granada gifted me a new perspective of how beautifully simple life can be when it is centered around family. This way of life is a transformation I am consciously working at implementing. 

On a different note, my GLI global theme and challenge is Technology and Society. After interning for Bcombinator I learned that there is a lot of uncaptured value in organizations due to the repeatable tasks that are left unautomated. The longevity of any type/size of an organization is contingent on having a tech-savvy person take robotic processes out of employees’ job responsibilities to draw out their humanistic characteristic of creativity. It was rewarding to do this at Bcombinator and become an asset to the organization.

Pablo and I at Alhambra in Granada
National Art Museum of Catalonia
Boat Cruise in Valencia

European Union, Brats, and the Bundesländer

Complicated and interlocking political and economic administration systems. I expected most of Germany to be devoid of trees and heavily influenced by the Cold War cement. Waking up at the end of my flight I noticed a polka dotted landscape of villages that grew in size while coming closer to major cities. All over Germany there are fields of wind turbines and solar panels. A brave utilization of land, lush and beautiful. The area I called home for a year is the ‘Ruhrpott,’ distinguished by a preserved mining heritage reminding me of Butte, America. Embodied in the state-of-the-art UNESCO museum at the Zollverein Mining area, it follows Germany’s history in utilization of coal mining, industrialization, and worker life in the area. This museum displays local artifacts ranging from archeological treasures found while mining, cultural tides of an imperial past, and the final chapters of coal mining in the area. Local Dortmund peers educated me on the Fußball Club rivalries and diverse communities within the Ruhrpott. As one could expect, this city prides itself on diversity with citizens coming from all over the world. I was particularly impressed with the international students at the Techniche Universität campus as they number 14% of the student body.

I opted to intern with a local high school as an English teaching assistant in my second semester. Unsure how this experience would go, once these “at risk” students learned about where I was from their curiosity pushed them to communicate in my native language. It helped I spoke enough German to answer simple questions and I was able to play a bit of charades when these students wanted to dig deeper than their English textbooks allowed. (I was really proud when during this year my I managed to pass as a local giving directions at the Hauptbahnhofs.)

Personal connections are the lasting souvenir from Dortmund. In an online German Intensive Language course, I invited a bunch of peers out one evening and quickly became friends with a Turkish fellow, Maltepe. He had been attending a Military Academy in Istanbul with the expectation to become an officer. I immediately knew I’d found another politics buff. We traded thoughts about Turkish current events and American culture. I enjoyed telling him stories of my Montana home and other parts of the U.S., particularly national parks, and he enjoyed explaining growing up in Malatya on an apricot farm. He opened up about his love of Turkey and his hope for a better future. He works hard for his studies in a foreign country, learning his fifth language, working, and following a different career than he was educated for. He became a fellow explorer of German culture, architecture, bratwursts, and museums.

I thoroughly enjoyed my time using the Deutsche Bahn public trains because of the easy use long distance and local systems. I was able to use the regional train systems with the German 9 Euro Ticket allowing individuals to buy an all-inclusive ticket to travel anywhere in Germany (regional and local in all cities). This was a promotional legislation and experiment to see if Germany could attract a large amount of tourism after the pandemic. It worked and train platforms had no elbowroom and felt like being at a concert.

Dortmund is an undiscovered gem. A central location near the Rhine river, there is easy access to historical sites in Germany such as Cologne, Aachen, and just a few train stops from Münster (where they conceived of national sovereignty). The downtown boasts the oldest Pharmacy in Western Europe that was founded in 1332 which put into perspective how young the United States are. While traveling Germany and exploring the national museums show an ancient and divided history in a youthful nation (remember it only unified after the fall of the Berlin wall). I was fortunate to study and travel Germany while political passions were high. The election of a new Chancellor (Olaf Schultz of the SPD). A common spirit of decency and respect and anti-Nazi sentiment referring to the far-right AfD party. Traveling the former Eastern block countries when Putin’s War in Ukraine began gave me a fright and incentivized a habit of being glued to the news even while in museums. I had a few heavy visits to concentration camps; in particular the Dachau camp which my great grandfather Allen Chesbro Jr. (UM Class of 1941) helped to liberate with the Rainbow Brigade. I enjoyed representing Montana to my international peers, it gave me a diplomatic perspective I hope to carry in my final year at the University of Montana. The intensive German language learning courses offered by TU were a great way to meet other new exchange students and there were many events on the TU campus to connect with the local Germans before classes began. Learning a language takes a little humor and a lot of dedication to try. I took many classes on the E.U. structure and recent crises. I learned from new friends to make traditional Calcutta Curry and Schnitzel while memorizing different phrases in Turkish. While participating in day trips and longer travels in Europe I taught these same friends to respond ‘Fight On’ to my chant of ‘Go Griz’.

Hunter Grimes (recent UM graduate) and Ben DeBar (current UM student) visit Seth Carmichael at the Zollverein UNESCO World Heritage Site
Visiting the top of the Reichstag in Berlin
Techniche Universität Dortmund (main campus)

Climate questions in the Arctic

I chose the Global Theme of natural resources and sustainability and the global challenge of sustainable management and technology for the protection of natural resources and biodiversity in the Arctic. At the University Centre in Svalbard I took Arctic Environmental Management, we analyzed the legal, technological, and social context and solutions in case studies on issues in the Arctic. My group researched the impact of cruise ship tourism and what is being done about those impacts. We found a need for more collaboration between Arctic nations on regulations and found that collaboration across scientific, legal and financial stakeholders was already present.  Living on the Arctic archipelago of Svalbard, I noticed the high environmental impact of the human presence there, but also some benefits. While pollution, wildlife disturbance, and fossil fuel consumption do occur, human presence allows the completion of ecological and climate monitoring, increased awareness of climate change for tourists, and the enforcement of protected area guidelines. Overall, I was surprised to learn how much of environmental management and attempts to adapt to climate change are social issues that come down to the effectiveness of leadership and communication.

In this class I also learned about how environmental management is more centralized and has more ease of cooperation between stakeholders in countries like Norway where there is high trust in the central government. The techniques the Norwegians used for environmental lawmaking failed in Canada and would most likely fail in the USA.  I saw more cultural differences with the cheap price of college tuition and doctors visits, the fact that college students regularly receive governmental living stipends, and the whole week of vacation we got for Easter. On the 17th of May, which is Norway’s national holiday, I saw how patriotism is widespread and celebrated by Norwegians of all political backgrounds. 

Champagne breakfast with my kitchen-mates for May 17th
My attempt in ski jumping competition during some Easter games on an Easter break cabin trip
Exploring the glaciers of Svalbard during Easter
Checking out an ice cave
Me and a group of Scandinavians on a ski-camping trip, also during Easter break

Living in Svalbard strengthened my leadership skills by requiring me to learn new skills quickly to remain safe while on field work and recreating in a harsh environment with people from different cultural and linguistic backgrounds. For my Research Project in Arctic Biology course I spent days at a time in a remote cabin recording reindeer behavior with a research partner.   This required rifle training, snowmobile practice, cold weather safety, logistical paperwork and communication, and reading lots of scientific papers. Learning these new skills helped me build confidence, practice teamwork across language and cultural barriers, and apply my problem-solving skills to unfamiliar contexts. I worked with professors and doctoral students from around the world who work in Arctic Biology, environmental management, and climate science, who served as academic and professional mentors.

Three female Svalbard reindeer rubbing antlers playfully as we watched from a cabin during field work.
A glimpse into some of the gear required for field work in Arctic conditions in March

At the end of my semester abroad I was hired as a polar bear guard on a ski and sail expedition to Northwest Svalbard with the guiding company, Ice Axe Expeditions. I carried a rifle to protect 8 people from polar bears during daily ski tours. I gained access to high quality mentorship in mountain guiding and used leadership skills in a high consequence environment.

Getting ready to ski down Dronning Mauds Fjell, a mountain in Northwest Svalbard, as a polar bear guard on the ski and sail trip
The ski and sail crew after landing for a ski tour

This beyond the classroom experience made me wonder what I can do to help more people from diverse backgrounds get access to mentorship in science, the outdoors, and with technology. I also questioned what level of human interaction can be justified in sensitive environments and how to ensure a positive human impact on a given ecosystem. I am also curious how environmental management decisions can include the voices of all people inclusively while also being timely. Finally, I wonder what role technology plays in the management of human impacts on the environment and how to make this role a positive one.

Aquatic Microbial Ecology at the Flathead Lake Biological Station

This summer, I had the opportunity to take Aquatic Microbial Ecology at the Flathead Lake Biological Station. It fit perfectly into my global theme of resources and sustainability. As a terrestrial wildlife biology major, I don’t spend a whole lot of my time in my classes learning about water. This class gave me insight into how complicated and special aquatic ecosystems are, and also how important they are in the ecosystem web. My challenge is about how we should monitor ecosystems to prevent further destruction from climate change and invasive species. 

Before taking this class, I mostly thought about the cycling of the land – how the earth gives nutrients to the plants, how plants give nutrients to animals, and so on. I knew what water was important, but I didn’t know just how important until I got this field experience in the Flathead Watershed. 

The class started with us learning about how water health is measured. There are countless things that you can look at in an aquatic ecosystem: pH, biomass, chlorophyll, nitrite, nitrate, ammonia, phosphorus, etc. To see how the ecology of lakes differ, the class went to Echo Lake, Swan Lake, and Flathead Lake and tested at all different depths. After our water collection was done, we brought the samples back to the lab and tested for a variety of factors, then compared them in projects. We found that each lake had its own unique profile. Echo Lake, which is fed by groundwater only, had massive amounts of chlorophyll. The Flathead had an immense curve in nitrogen as you descended through the depths due to the amount of organisms in its surface waters.

When I started this class in June, Montana was experiencing a surge in flooding due to heavy rainfall. All of the lakes in the area pushed at the edges of their shores; in some cases, it drove people out of their homes for several days. The rivers were bloated and overfilled to the point where you couldn’t see people’s docks. Both the Swan and the Flathead lakes are fed by snowmelt and glacial runoff that form into rivers. The lakes had a unique “belt” of silt and dirt at the depth at which their respective rivers fed into them. We could see in our data that the flooding changed the normal ecology of both lakes. They were being mixed and turned over in a much greater capacity than they normally would. Even in our two week class, we saw the effects of climate change on aquatic systems in our own home state. This has given me a new diverse perspective on what it means to monitor ecosystems. We need to all work together and fit the pieces together from many different places in order to get a full view on how climate change is affecting our world.

From a leadership perspective, this class taught me that there is an immense importance in working together. As a future terrestrial biologist, I will have insights into how the land is doing when it comes to climate change. I will have to work together with marine biologists and limnologists on how their part of the world is doing so we can present a full review of just what climate change is doing, and how we can fix it as a group of people. Togetherness will play a key role in how we work to combat climate change in our world. It will involve many different parties, and a keen ear and willingness to listen, then implement is paramount to our success as biologists.