Saturday, April 9, 2016

My Junior Year is Almost Over!

Hello fellows bloggers!

I cannot believe that the semester is almost over and that I am going to be a senior! My time at Purdue has flown by at an excessively rapid pace. From the time spent doing research with my hellbender lab to my time involved in my clubs, volunteering, church activities, and my cooperative house and balancing a full schedule of classes, you could say that I have been very busy!

This semester I became involved in the Student Chapter of Environmental Education (SCEE). This is a club that works to educate the community about different environmental topics and participate in outreach events. Last weekend I got to go the the Mesker Park Zoo in Evansville to do a behind the scenes tour. We got to see several of the animals up close, including this incredible Indian rhino! We went to Mesker Park Zoo because they are getting ready to put in a new hellbender exhibit in partnership with the Purdue University Hellbender Lab team that I am a part of currently.

Me and the White Rhino at Mesker Park Zoo. 

My Dad and I at the Hellbender Hustle 5K at O'Bannon State Park.
This weekend to help raise awareness and money for hellbender conservation, O'Bannon State Park held the annual Hellbender Hustle 5K race. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the hellbender, they are a giant salamander that grow to be 2.5 ft long and are Indiana state endangered. Currently, hellbenders only are present in the Blue River, Corydon, IN. My lab and research team are working to help the hellbender by stabilizing the population through a head staring program using captive raised juvenile hellbenders taken form the Blue River as eggs. Raising the hellbenders in captivity at Purdue helps ensure their survival through the critical larval stage.

If you are interested, check out the Help The Hellbender website by Purdue Extension. 

Purdue University Hellbender Lab Team. 
Getting involved in research has really helped me focus in on what exactly I am interested in and what I want to to do after graduation. This summer I will be working for Purdue as a Wildlife Biologist on the Hellbender Project and conducting my undergraduate research dealing with aquatic trophic relationships. 

Until next time, 


Veronica Yager
Major: Natural Resources and Environmental Science
Concentration: Emerging Environmental Issues
Minor: Wildlife Science 

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