Wyoming Spring Creek – James Houser Introduction

My name is James, and I am an undergrad student at the University of Pittsburgh studying environmental science. My main academic interests are health and safety and science communication. I recently received my certificate for hazardous waste operations and hope to one day work to help mitigate the effects of environmental disasters. Outside of class, I enjoy hiking around western Pennsylvania, Ohio, and West Virginia, and particularly enjoy urban exploration. I also practice programming in my free time.

Last year I was offered the opportunity to join Pitt’s Wyoming Spring Creek Field Study, and it seemed like an exciting program. We will be traveling to Pitt’s Spring Creek reserve and, over the course of six weeks, use the ideas we’ve learned in our studies to investigate all aspects of the region, including wildlife, geology, hydrology, and fossil record. We will gain an understanding of not just the area as it currently is, but also how it took shape over millions of years. At the end of the course we will each complete an independent research project to test the knowledge we’ve gained.

This course satisfies the capstone requirement for my major, but it also gives me the opportunity to apply all of the theory I’ve learned in class. I will gain experience in research and field work as well as reinforce my prior knowledge. The Spring Creek area is an ecosystem that is very different from what can be found around Pittsburgh, so this is a chance to see things that I haven’t seen before. I am nervous, of course, to be so far from home in an area that is unfamiliar, but I think overcoming that fear will help me grow personally.

I am excited to see you all next week!

  • – James

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