Submitted by Joel Such '21, a student in the Limited-Residency Undergraduate Program and Accelerated Master’s Program, who is taking a variety of courses relating to biology, conservation, environmental education, and art.
Hailing from the foothills of Colorado’s Front Range, my lifelong passion for birds has directed my life’s path and gifted me with the opportunity to work on a myriad of projects encompassing biological fieldwork and environmental education. Prescott College’s innovative program in Environmental Studies has allowed me to continue developing and growing exponentially as a field biologist, conservation photographer, and advocate of the natural world.
My journey at Prescott has involved taking online courses with knowledgeable and supportive professors, developing and executing individualized and mentored studies that merge academic learning with real world experiences, studying community-based conservation on the ground in Costa Rica with professors Mariana Altrichter and Peter Sherman, and taking a semester of courses at the Kino Bay field station in Sonora, Mexico. Prescott College’s limited-residency program has proven to be an excellent fit for me at both the undergraduate and graduate levels, as it has allowed me to merge my interests in science, art, and education to craft a degree that reflects who I am as an individual.
Across my studies, I have primarily lived in the Western Andes of Colombia where I have been able to apply my coursework to gain valuable knowledge and perspectives about this culturally and biologically complex region. For my senior project, I developed a bird monitoring project for Tatamá National Park and the adjacent buffer zone, which I am expanding upon for my Master’s thesis. For this ongoing research, it is not only my goal to contribute to the knowledge of this understudied region, but also to inform conservation initiatives and build bridges amongst stakeholders.
I am deeply grateful to Prescott College for helping me weave this meaningful path through my undergraduate and graduate degrees, allowing me to realize my overarching goal and ultimate vision of becoming an effective ambassador of the natural world through my collective work as a researcher, artist, and educator.