Ryleigh VanderSchee, B.Sc. Biology '20
During the summer between my 3rd and 4th year at King’s, I worked as a research assistant for a graduate student at the University of Alberta collecting data. I also had the opportunity to work with Dr. Peters to use some of that data for a senior thesis research project, examining the effects of wildfires and other habitat factors on snowshoe hare habitat selection.
"It was my education at King’s that prepared me for this unique project with such unique experiences."
After a summer of field work, and the occasional wildlife encounter, I spent time editing research models, analyzing and interpreting data, and collaborating with Dr. Peters and the team from the U of A in hopes of getting this research published. It was my education at King’s that prepared me for this unique project with such unique experiences. If I had to pick a few courses that were most useful to me in my research, it would be my plant diversity course with Dr. Peters, as well as biostatistics and modelling with Dr. Visscher. Ultimately though, the fact that I’ve taken a little bit of everything throughout my liberal arts program has been the most beneficial.
This summer I’m managing King’s Community Garden, applying for medical schools, and continuing my research by editing the models and research paper as part of the next steps towards publication. I hope that this research will provide further insights into how climate change will affect snowshoe hares and which habitat variables are most important for hare habitat selection, allowing conservationists to better prioritize their efforts accordingly.