Alumni Spotlight

Dec. 11, 2018

Below, alumni Lauren Sommers

shares her experiences since recently graduating from The Ohio State University last spring.  During her time as an undergraduate student, Lauren was active in the Human-Animal Interactions Club and took part in undergraduate research with Dr. Kelly George as her research advisor.  We are excited to share Lauren's successes and wish her all the best in the future!

"Life has been pretty exciting

since graduation in May from The Ohio State University.  I spent my summer working as a naturalist at Highbanks Metro Park.  Here I learned so much about environmental education and utilizing all the natural features our beautiful metro parks have to offer.  I also greatly increased my ability to identify native wildlife species!  This is a helpful tool that I have used greatly in my current internship. 

Starting in mid-September I began interning at Brukner Nature Center in Troy, Ohio.  My internship has a strong focus on three key areas: wildlife rehabilitation, ambassador animal care, and education.  Wildlife rehabilitation offers a unique way to care for individual animals while contributing to the greater picture of conserving our native species.  I have really enjoyed learning how to care for squirrels, tube feed bunnies, handle songbirds, and identify different kinds of injuries and diseases.  Our animal ambassadors are individuals that could not be released into the wild for a variety of reasons, and now serve to represent their species. Daily care includes feeding, cleaning, and creating enrichment. 

We also provide a variety of educational programs

at the nature center that focus on native wildlife and utilize our nature preserve, ambassador animals, and other cool props like study skins.  While we teach a lot of programs on site, we also travel to schools, libraries, and senior centers as well.  I have really enjoyed my internship thus far, and I am happy to say that I will be staying with Brukner Nature Center for the next year as a Wildlife Research Fellow.  In this role, I will focus more strongly on wildlife rehabilitation and our involvement in local and national citizen science research projects."