Student spotlight: Amelia Baker

Amelia Baker
Amelia Baker

Meet Amelia Baker, a Fisheries and Wildlife major at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln School of Natural Resources.

Hometown: Lincoln. I’m specifically from northeast Lincoln where I attended Lincoln Northeast High and the Science Focus Program known as Zoo School through Lincoln Public Schools.

Major: Fisheries and Wildlife

Emphasis: Conservation Biology

Minor: English

Anticipated date of graduation: May 2020

Why did you decide to come to the University of Nebraska–Lincoln?

Coming to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln was the best option for my family financially, as both of my parents work for the university. I have had a great deal with credits where I’m allotted a certain amount per semester from each of my lovely parents. I’m a rare case to graduate without any debt, and to be able to pursue my dream of moving away from Nebraska to become a marine biologist. I have thoroughly enjoyed my time in college and I have not ever wanted to go anywhere else for an undergraduate degree! I didn’t even apply for any other schools when I was a senior in high school – the opportunity to graduate not owing anything was far too great of an incentive!

My parents have sacrificed some of their working years to help me graduate college without owing anything to anyone to ultimately have a brighter future, and for this I cannot give them enough thanks.

What is your favorite thing about the School of Natural Resources?

First and foremost, I love the genuine feel of the people and the positive attitude of CASNR. It seems like there isn’t one person who isn’t interested in what you’re interested in, and wants to hear what your passionate about.

I absolutely love when the professors or students get to nerd out about what animal or soil type or insect they love! It’s a joy to see the looks on people’s faces when they can talk long and hard about the specifics of what they love! I also enjoy students being able to share with each other the things they care about in the world from, larger scale subjects like the environment to animal conservation to climate activism to something as big as coding. ;)

What is your favorite class you have taken so far and why?

My favorite class in college was actually during a study abroad I participated in for my conservation biology focus and my interests in marine biology in Panama in Central America where I lived for three-and-a-half months my junior year spring semester. I was able to take a course studying different ecosystems and the wildlife that abides there while learning the research techniques used for that field of study. I studied coral reefs, mangroves, amphibians, birds, mammals. The coral reefs were among the most breathtaking things I’ve been able to see, but capturing a black jaguar on a mammal camera trap was nothing to sneeze at too.

I’d also like to mention my Independent Study Project (ISP) through my trip abroad. It was a month-long course that I prepared for over the semester to study sea cucumber populations through transects and snorkeling equipment. It was absolutely the most difficult thing I’ve done in college as it combined field research while living in a foreign county alone surrounded by strangers and the big scary ocean. Imagine trying to communicate to a boat driver that you want him to drive to the middle of nowhere to lay a huge measuring tape on the seafloor to pick up and identify squishy sea cucumbers in broken Spanish.

If I had to list some of my favorite (UNL specifically) they would be: Tropical Ecology: Puerto Rico; Intro to Conservation Biology; Invertebrate Zoology; Wildlife Management Techniques; Ecophysiology of Wildlife; Biodiversity Conservation