A degree in biology taught Lindsay Bryant to never be satisfied.
“You learn to look beyond what you see in front of you,” said Bryant, a 2007 graduate of Friends University. “You may have collected solid data, but you can’t make sense of it unless you start to analyze what it means. You learn to draw conclusions based on what you have and to continue to search for answers. Sometimes there is not just one right answer.”
When Bryant first visited Friends University as a high schooler, she felt like she instantly fit in on the campus.
“When I visited the campus, I felt very comfortable and welcome,” she said.
While attending the University, Bryant said she especially enjoyed the lab work, which was usually outdoors and off campus and allowed students to get their hands dirty.
“We seined for fish in a lake, caught frogs and snakes along a river, and even trapped small rodents with Sherman traps so they wouldn’t be harmed,” she said. “I especially enjoyed a class I took to learn about the Alpine region around Colorado. Afterward, we took a weeklong trip to Pikes Peak, where we were able to see some of the plants and animals in their natural habitat.”
Bryant’s many outdoor educational adventures allowed her “to jump-start my career a few years before graduation.”
Part of that jump start was a three-week internship in Costa Rica, where she volunteered to research leatherback turtles with the Caribbean Conservation Corporation.
“I patrolled beaches at night to collect data from the turtles, such as carapace length, tag numbers, egg count and nest location,” Bryant said. “If we found a turtle before she nested, we would actually reach under her to catch and count the eggs.”
Part of the challenge of the Costa Rican internship was preventing poachers from taking the eggs in search of a meal or extra income, she said.
“I think our presence on the beach discouraged people from digging up the nests,” she said. “During the survey, we would count the nests, identify the species and check to see if it had been poached.”
Although she’s not currently employed in her field of study – she’s working in advertising sales at the Pratt Tribune (Pratt, Kansas) – Bryant says her education has improved her professional skills and outlook.
“I feel like I’ve grown into a more confident person,” she said. “Even though I’m not working in the science field at the moment, I feel like I am learning about myself and improving upon my interpersonal and organizational skills. I’m also making a lot of connections from people from all over this area, including the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks.”
Bryant says she plans to attend graduate school soon to study marine biology.
“I’d like to work in the ocean, preferably with coral reefs,” she said. “Climate change is definitely causing problems for corals, and I’d like to research it further to find ways to help. Sometimes people unintentionally cause harm to oceans, and they might just need someone to teach them how to make better decisions with their lifestyle. I wouldn’t mind doing some education work on the topic after I’ve been in the field for a few years.”
Wherever her education and professional paths take her, Bryant says she’s “determined to make a difference in the world. I love being surrounded by God’s beautiful creation, and it feels good to protect it from destruction.”