Student spotlight: Emma Chesley

Emma Chesley
Emma Chesley

Meet Emma Chesley, a sophomore School of Natural Resources fisheries and wildlife major with an emphasis in conservation biology.

Hometown: Lincoln, Nebraska

Major: I am majoring in fisheries and wildlife, with an emphasis in conservation biology. I am also minoring in biology and environmental studies.

Anticipated date of graduation: May 2022

Why did you decide to come to the University of Nebraska–Lincoln?
I decided to come to UNL because I knew that I wanted to get into research, and I had heard of all the amazing opportunities the university could give me. Plus, it helps that it’s only a 10-minute drive home!

What is your favorite thing about the School of Natural Resources?
I love how passionate the community is within SNR, both the student body and the faculty. It’s amazing to hear about all the amazing things everyone stays busy with! Also, I love how many opportunities there are here. I refer to UNL as “opportunity overload,” which can be overwhelming at times when it feels like there is so much to do. However, having so many opportunities is never really a bad thing.

What is your favorite class you have taken so far and why?
Ooooo! This is a tough one. I think it’s a tie between conservation biology, taught by Dennis Ferraro, and Life121 out at Cedar Point Biological Station, taught by Dr. Ben Reed. Conservation biology really got me excited for my future as a conservation biologist and Dennis always shared with us what his past students were doing career-wise, which was always thrilling. Life121 out at CPBS was a beautiful place to learn about the topics taught in the class. I mean, most students on city campus who take the class have crayfish shipped in for them, but we got to go in the water and catch them ourselves!

What is life like outside of school? In what ways have you gotten involved in the SNR or university communities?
During nights and weekends, I spend most of my time working in dining services at the Legacy Terrace, a retirement home here in town. I really love working with the older generation and even did an ethnographic research project for an anthropology class where I explored the dynamic between the older and younger generations.

SNR also got me an internship working for Nebraska Wildlife Rehab, Inc. last summer. It was an amazing experience learning how one area of conservation really gets a lot of work done. Besides, who can complain about spending an entire summer feeding baby raccoons?

What are your plans post-graduation?
During my time here at UNL, I realized that I really want to continue my higher education and go to graduate school. I am not sure where, but I would love to do research on corals! (I’m getting my scuba certification right now! Woo!)