Archive for June, 2011

Meeting and an Adventure

On June 20th the Poli lab embarked for Roan Mountain TN at 6m to attend the American Bryological and Lichenological Meeting.  Roan Mountain was about a 3 hour drive from Roanoke and was easily done the morning the meeting started.  Adventures ranged from informative meeting talks, workshops, field trips, poster sessions, and social hours. 

The next morning we all got together to travel to Beech Mountain –and the real adventures began.  Our first stop was at the brand new Beech Creek Bog State Natural Area; beautiful ferns reached for the sky and guarded the area, but we pushed through mountain bog full of sphagnum, lycopods, and lichens galore. Here the students were able to watch bryologists in action, looking at all types of plants in the field.  They watched experts name species on the spot; Bryan and Laura feverishly took notes and kept their ears peels to soak in the most knowledge possible. 

 

Since one of our recent projects looked at lycopods, the group was very attuned to the different lycopods that occurred.  In one spot we noticed four species growing in less than a three foot by three foot location!   One was a trailing rhizome variety and the other three were from the Lycopodium genus.  The one pictured below was determined to be an actual hybrid of the other two LycopodiumLycopodium gametophytes are generally underground, and if the area doesn’t stay wet, they will not germinate successfully.   The Sphagnum bog beds kept the area moist enough to allow the tricky life cycle to occur and the beautiful diversity to prevail. 

Wednesday morning, the students began to feel the pressure of presenting their data to the society.  However, by the time the poster session occurred, both Bryan Piatkowski and Laura Kellam did an excellent job representing the evolution of polar auxin transport!  Bryan, like a pro, gave a succinct summary of his uptake and efflux work.  Laura filled in for Jessica Branning; Laura was able to calmly and accurately represent the polar auxin transport work in Dicranium gametophytes.  Together, the evolution was obvious!  Good job Poli lab…EvoKat is proud of you!  

Even in Moss Heaven, Laura finds bones!

And through it all…Laura still found bones!  I guess it really was a wonderful trip!

Career Possibilities with a Biology Degree

As an educator I am constantly being asked, “other than going into medicine, what can I do with a degree in biology?”  At a time when our country’s President is calling for people to become educated in the sciences because it is the only way the US will stay a super power, I felt compelled to respond to this question in a more public domain. 

Below is a list of potential jobs you can get with a degree in biology.  Some of these jobs may need further training but getting your B. S. in biology is the first step.  Many of these jobs may seem obvious, but many others may seem strange.  Think about what your life’s passions are and how your degree in biology could be bent to fill that niche.  That is what Biology is all about – it is the study of life, it is the use of your life to observe and make the world better through understanding! 

Doctor/Dentist

Nurse

Lawyer

Greenhouse manager or technician

Golf course grasses manager

Landscaper

Mortician

Teacher

Research scientist

Wildlife management

Fire management

Water management

Department of Defense/Homeland Security

Fish hatchery

FDA scientist

EPA scientist

Florist

Companion animal adoption coordinator

Animal Shelter worker

Veterinarian

Farm owner

Chemical safety officer

Forensic scientist

Forestservices

Lobbyist

Public relations for a scientific company or community

Zoo keeper

Kennel owner/operator

Scientific editor

Scientific illustrator

Lab technician

Hospital technician

Vet technician

Pharmaceutical sales

Microscopy technician/sales

Biotech technician/sales

Horticulturist

Environmental Science

 

Biology Specialization once you have your biology degree:

 

Agronomy

Anatomy

Biophysics

Bioinformatics

Biotechnology

Bryology

Cytology

Ecology

Economic botany

Ethnobotany/ethnozoology

Food Science and Technology

Forestry

Genetics

Horticulture

Lichenology

Microbiology

Molecular biology

Morphology

Mycology

Natural Resource Management

Paleobotany/paleozoology

Palyology

Pathology

Phycology

Physiology

Phytochemistry

Plant Breeding

Pteridology

Systematics

Systems ecology

Taxonomy

 

So in other words, if you love something living enough to be obsessed with it (like turtles or sharks, maybe roses?), then study it in depth.  Adventure into that realm to its fullest.  Never stop learning and pursue your love.  You never know what may come from it!

Until next time…

Evokat!