Hello! My name is Wray Jones and I am a rising junior at the University of Pittsburgh. Currently, I am pursuing degrees in both environmental science as well as French. In my free time, I am involved with the on campus environmental honors fraternity Epsilon Eta as a committee chair. I help plan more ways for our growing organization to explore Pittsburgh and other nearby areas to enjoy the outdoors. On top of this, I enjoy teaching myself programming languages such as R, Python, and SQL.
Within the coming week I will leave for 6 weeks to go to Spring Creek, Wyoming where I will be conducting field research. The course is partly occuring on the University of Wyoming – Laramie Campus and partly on the Spring Creek Preserve that was acquired by Pitt in 2005, and the area has a deep ecological and geological wealth. While this program checks a box for my environmental science degree, I hope it opens other doors related to environmental work. I have always had a passion for paleontology as well, so the dinos will be pretty cool too. I chose this program specifically due to its complexity and how much is actually covered within such a short span of time. I hope this will allow me to apply knowledge that I have been learning in a little SSRC classroom into a real life scenario, furthering my understanding of the topics.
Although I am a bit nervous for this upcoming adventure, I am still excited because I know how important an opportunity like this is. Having the ability to create my own project and conduct my own research allows me to have something concrete to prove how much I really know and I can carry that with me throughout my future. On a personal level, I genuinely hope this course allows me to connect with my peers who share a similar interest.