I have known since I was 5 years old what I wanted to be when I grew up – a scientist. I have always had a strong interest in wildlife and the great outdoors. I grew up here in Ardmore, spending the majority of my free time either hunting or fishing with my dad or scouring our backyard for snakes, turtles, worms and whatever exciting specimen the earth had to offer. I liked to look at dirt under a microscope, and I had my National Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Reptiles and Amphibians just about memorized by heart. Summer nights were spent catching fireflies and toads and looking at the stars through the telescope.
The Noble Research Institute played a critical role in my decision to study wildlife biology in college. In 1998, my fourth grade elementary school class attended an environmental camp conducted by the Noble Research Institute on one of their wildlife units. The environmental camp was an educational program where we got to learn about various aspects of wildlife management and engage in hands-on activities, such as finding and identifying an animal track and making a plaster cast of it ( I still have mine displayed on one of my shelves). It was during this time that I became inspired to be a wildlife biologist.
Scott Hill shows Will Moseley, wildlife and fisheries consultant, a Woodhouse's toad on the plant identification field day.
For me, being a Lloyd Noble Scholar in Agriculture is an honor that I do not take for granted. I am on the cusp of completing my master's degree in wildlife biology, and the summer of 2015 is the last time I'm eligible for this position. It is quite literally a once-in-a-lifetime experience for me.
My expectations upon accepting this position were twofold: to learn more about agriculture and to get my hands dirty. My expectations have been beyond met. To date, I have artificially inseminated a cow, completed Beef Quality Assurance (BQA) certification, conducted quail call count surveys, assisted with baiting hog traps, attended farm visits with consultants, assisted with prescribed burn workshops, and assisted with fishing workshops for Cities in Schools and Girl Scouts. And the summer isn't even over yet. I hope that others will see the positive impact that the Noble Research Institute has had on the world and will too become inspired.