News & Stories
Biology major Abby Wiseman
November 11, 2021

Internship on South Carolina Coast Confirms Career Goals for Biology Major

Abby Wiseman ’22, who is majoring in biology and minoring in animal science, gained hands-on experience in wildlife management thanks to Professor of Biology Chris Mowry, who connected her to a transformative research opportunity on Dewees Island, South Carolina, last summer. 

“The experience that our students have gained through hands-on internships has been extremely valuable for their careers,” says Mowry. “For example, Jared Crain was the first intern we sent to Dewees Island, and he is now in graduate school at the University of Tennessee. Likewise, Lauren Patterson and Mattie Whitesell did similar summer internships at St. Catherines Island, Georgia, and both went on to graduate school and careers in marine conservation.” 

Q: How did your internship benefit your long-term career goals? 

A: My internship on Dewees Island focused on studying coyote behavior through trail cameras. I was also able to collect genetic data from scat samples found throughout the island. While this was the original purpose of the internship, I also gained great knowledge of wildlife management such as invasive species removal, population surveying, animal relocation, education programs and even working with endangered animals like loggerhead sea turtles! This internship gave me the opportunity to grow in my passion for wildlife and gave me the confidence I need for my future career. 

Q: How have your jobs at Berry impacted your career goals? 

A: Like many freshmen, my first job at Berry was on grounds crew. This was honestly the perfect place for me to learn and grow my passion for working outdoors. I also worked on campus as a resident assistant, which helped me hone my skills as a resource for other people in times of need. My current job on-campus is a continuation of my work from this summer. I am able to help Dr. Mowry with the coyote research we did on Dewees, as well as his own research with the Atlanta Coyote Project [which involves a group of scientists committed to learning more about coyotes living in the metro Atlanta area]. All of these jobs have given me countless strengths I look forward to applying to my future career.  

Q: How have your animal science minor and involvement with the Pre-Vet Club allowed you to study animals through a unique lens? 

A: My animal science minor speaks directly to my passion for animals in a wildlife setting, which I hope provides me with a different outlook than most. With knowledge on animal anatomy, physiology and more, I am able to better understand the behaviors I see in wildlife. This is extremely important in research and management, and I am thankful to be able to apply that knowledge to any project I am a part of. 

Q: What are your career goals after graduation? 

A: I hope to work in wildlife biology to study animal behaviors, provide ecosystem management plans and educate the public on the importance of wildlife.

Story by senior Mary Banks Shelander

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