Student Stories: The wildlife awaits for senior

Penn State student Megan Davis has always loved the outdoors and knew from an early age she wanted to dedicate her career to her love for nature.

The wildlife and fisheries science major spent the summer of 2011 doing just that. From May to August, Davis completed a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service internship, splitting her time between Parker River National Wildlife Refuge in Newburyport, Mass., and Great Bay National Wildlife Refuge in Newington, N.H.

Davis, of Warsaw, Va., spent four days a week at Parker River and one day a week at Great Bay. Her days started at 8 a.m., but her duties varied depending on which wildlife refuge she was stationed at that day.

During her time on the barrier island in Parker River, she conducted migratory bird and shorebird surveys to see which species were using the refuge, helped with counts of endangered species and worked on invasive species control.

While she spent only one day a week at Great Bay, it was there that she got the most enjoyment. She did a variety of tasks but spent a lot of time working on a project in which she helped convert military bunkers into bat-roosting areas.

Her summer internship provided a lot of hands-on experience that she was looking for. "I was able to use what I learn in my courses and apply it directly to my passion," Davis said. "It made me sure that's what I want to do."

Davis will graduate this month -- completing her degree in just two years after coming to Penn State with 62 college credits under her belt from high school. She already has a job with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service as a wildlife specialist at a New York refuge.

"You know those people who love to go to work every day," Davis said. "I am one of them!"

For more information about the wildlife and fisheries science major, click here.

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Last Updated December 18, 2012