Student spotlight: Sophia Gobber

Sophia Gobber
Sophia Gobber

Hometown: Syracuse, Nebraska

Major: Fisheries and Wildlife – Law Enforcement

Minor: Criminal Justice

Anticipated date of graduation: December 2020

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

Ever since I was a little girl, I grew up outside on our family farm and ran around in the timber. Therefore, I knew I wanted my career to be something that I would love to do every day. After meeting Sara Winn and Mark Pegg on my college tour, I was hooked with UNL’s CASNR program. Both Sara and Mark were so passionate about the School of Natural Resources, it made me even more excited to join the program.

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

My favorite thing about SNR is how welcoming and knowledgeable everyone is. I have had the pleasure of getting to know all of my professors one on one and I know I can go to them with any questions. Because of the relationships and connections I made with my professors, I have been able to thrive in my outside field work. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, because everyone in SNR is so smart and friendly.

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

There are so many amazing classes that are offered by SNR, although my favorite course I have taken has been Human Dimensions of Natural Resources. This course has been my favorite, because with my future career I will be interacting with the public 85% of my day-to-day. Chris Chizinski goes through and explains to us how to potentially interact with different stakeholders and educates us on everyone’s different values. It is a really interesting class and I encourage everyone to take it! My close seconds would be the Herpetology and Ichthyology –- these courses have educated me about our native reptiles, amphibians and fish. I am excited to bring all the knowledge I have gained from these courses to the public and educate them on our natural resources.

What is life like outside of school? In what ways have you gotten involved in the SNR or university communities?

A lot of my time outside of school is spent working for the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission. This past summer I was a naturalist for one of our state parks and that position has kind of evolved into a being a hunting mentor and educator. A majority of what I do is for Becoming an Outdoors Women, where I take women hunting, teach hunter education, basic handgun classes, archery events and so much more!

I also am a big advocate for volunteering and taking people hunting that haven’t had the opportunity to get out before. This past summer I was able to take people to Halsey National Forest for grouse hunting, Indian Cave State Park for an antlerless youth hunt, Twin Oaks Public for a youth pheasant hunt, Pawnee State Park for a squirrel hunt, and so much more! A lot of my time is spent educating the public and showing everyone how fun the outdoors are!

I am currently involved in the Collegiate Hunting group with the university and Nebraska Game and Parks. We are gathering potential mentors and college students that have never hunted before and want to try their hand at harvesting their own wild turkey. I am also a member of the Wildlife Club.

What are your plans post-graduation?

Upon graduation, I am pursuing a career as a Nebraska conservation officer. I am preparing myself for this position by completing the conservation officer internship that SNR offers. I also accepted a position for the summer as a boating officer for Iowa DNR. In this position I will be able to gain valuable experience working natural resource law enforcement.