Tara Hetz

Tara Hetz with porcupine
Tara Hetz
Conservation Biology
Charlotte, VT
I rowed for two years at SLU and was given the opportunity to attend two national championships. I am core member of Amnesty International and Lettuce Turnip the Beat (a group promoting local food on campus). During my junior fall, I took advantage of the SLU abroad programs and traveled down under to study at James Cook University, Townsville, Australia.

I have always loved the outdoors and have a strong passion for nature. With the impacts of global climate change and human activities on the planet’s species and ecosystems, I found it my moral duty to fight for nature for the sake of nature. With that as one of my life goals, I decided to major in conservation biology at St. Lawrence University. I transferred to SLU after traveling in Mongolia and Tanzania, and after studying in the Netherlands for a semester.

My passion for marine biology and coral reef ecology was strengthened from all the time spent on the Great Barrier Reef while studying abroad in Australia.  As a senior, I am working on an independent honors research project: Estimating density and habitat preference of North American Porcupines with my research advisor, Erika Barthelmess. The summer before my senior year I traveled to San Salvador, Bahamas with two fellow students and biology professor Brad Baldwin to rehabilitate coral reefs surrounding the island. Also during the summer I was selected as Summer Student Fellow at the renowned Woods Hole Oceanographic institute to work on a risk model for North Atlantic right whales getting trapped in lobster fishing gear.

As my undergraduate degree comes to an end I picture myself joining the Peace Corps in costal resource management. I also have a strong desire to return to Africa to assist in wildlife research and conservation issues. After all this, I plan to attend graduate school with a stronger focus in conservation biology.