Sarah James is a senior in the College of Forestry and Wildlife at Auburn University. A degree from Auburn’s College of Forestry and Wildlife usually results in a particular career, but James proves there are a variety of career paths this major can prepare students for. “A lot of forestry and wildlife majors want to go on and be wildlife managers, but I want to be a wildlife vet,” James said.
Coming to Auburn was a great way for James to gain exposure to a variety of different animals. “Being from Florida, I didn’t really know a lot about Alabama native wildlife,” James said.
Through various off-campus labs, James has been able to get hands-on experience. One of James’ favorite labs was when her vertebrate biodiversity class went off campus to go seining for fish in the Euphape Creek. James and her classmates grabbed both sides of a large seining net and worked as a team to pull up the wide assortment of fish that lived in the creek.
The purpose of this lab was for students to figure out the biodiversity of the creek and to record their finds for further research purposes. “I like that the labs are really hands on, because we learn a lot being in the actual environment,” James said.
The new state-of-the-art facility that Auburn finished building in 2005 is another great perk for forestry and wildlife majors. The Forestry and Wildlife Sciences building is 110, 000 square feet of classrooms, research labs and faculty and administrative offices.
The facility has “multiple computer labs and really great classrooms that you can access with your student access card,” James said. Having unlimited access to these technologically-advanced lab rooms can be convenient for making up labs and are helpful for studying in on the weekends.
James’ work towards completing a degree in forestry and wildlife has introduced her to other campus organizations, including Auburn’s Raptor Center. Since sophomore year, James has been working as a Raptor Center volunteer, and she has hopes of becoming a Raptor Center employee.
“Without working toward a wildlife degree I never would have known the Raptor Center even existed, and I would have missed out on all this awesome experience with birds,” James said.
James is the perfect example of an Auburn wildlife student that took advantage of the opportunities she was offered during her college experience. With exposure to fascinating off-campus labs and extracurricular activities like Auburn’s Raptor Center, wildlife students gain experience that will benefit them in the real world.