Ethan takes on Belize!

Heather Bennett Start Date: Aug 1, 2017 - End Date: Apr 7, 2018

My Travel Story

by: Heather Bennett Start Date: Aug 1, 2017 - End Date: Apr 7, 2018
Reflecting upon my childhood, it could be said that my life has “evolved” around biology. As long as I can remember I have loved being in the outdoors. As a toddler I spent many long hours learning about the world around me, watching wildlife, listening to birds, and of course touching and feeling everything I saw. I often went out with my mother in the garden, “weeding” with her, which of course meant picking her flowers and shrubs. My love of biology may have come from a variety of sources. My parents turned off cable TV at a young age, for fear of “rotting my brain”. This left me with two options, PBS and Animal Planet. I spent most of my childhood watching Steve Irwin, the Crocodile Hunter, and engaging myself with the elusive yet amazing animals from across the globe. I actually cried when Steve died of a stingray wound. On the PBS Channel I have learned to think critically, and find many different interest. If you ask me I could identify just about every plant, animal, bird, fish, and insect in the North East. Almost every family vacation we gone on had something to do with biology. For example my family went to Niagara Falls, to go to a Butterfly Observatory at the age of about 6. My sister accidentally killed a butterfly, and I was devastated. At that moment my love of conservation and preservation of wildlife may have been born. I have dragged my family to just about every Zoo across the East Coast. We went so often that my Dad spent time pretending to howl and ran up and down their cages to get the wolves to be more active. Not to mention we have almost been kicked out of countless aquariums because my dad would bring red laser pointers and get fish to chase them. Our last vacation consisted of going to Pittsburgh PA, to go to the National Aviary to see exotic birds, and then Phipps Botanical Conservatory. Throughout it all my love of fish has prevailed. I think it may have had something to do with watching “Finding Nemo” countless numbers of times per week during my early childhood. In case you were wondering “Finding Dory” was worth the wait. My mom often jokes that my room is a jungle, I have two huge fish tanks, numerous plants hanging from the walls and ceiling, and all sorts of skulls and furs I have collected over the years. In the future I would like to study freshwater ecosystems and become a fisheries biologist. My passions include fly-fishing every chance I can get, gardening, scuba diving, camping, hiking, archery, and I have an interest in beekeeping. As of the moment writing this paper I am excited because an Eastern Wood Pewee just flew by, followed by a yellow-shafted Northern Flicker. We have almost had countless accidents in the car because I have gotten excited about seeing a rare bird. Going on the trip to Belize would allow me to share my many useless biology facts with others, enhance my love of biology, give me experience for a future career, and help spread awareness and respect for the organisms that live on the planet we call home. Going to Belize will give me opportunities that I doubt I otherwise would have been awarded, it will give me a chance to explore the world, make lifelong friends and connections, as well as learn, think, and grow into a better person and member of society.