Daniel Erickson is a senior majoring in Wildlife Ecology and studied abroad on the UW Wildlife Ecology in Mexico in January.
Academic Life: This unique experience is done in collaboration with professors from both UW-Madison and University of Guadalajara. Our academic experience was a healthy combination of classroom lectures and hands-on field activities. This program takes place in the Sierra de Manantlán Biosphere Reserve, boasting on astonishing diversity of life ranging from birds of all colors, to rich plant structures and large carnivores.
Benefits of Study Abroad: We got to perform many field techniques in pristine tropical montane forest instead of just reading about it in a lecture hall. We did mist netting to sample birds, created scent and track stations (we caught pumas on camera and made casts of their tracks!), handled bats, and trapped small mammals. In this curriculum, there are not too many opportunities for students to get out into the field, but those who take advantage of such chances better prepare themselves for a successful career by building valuable field skills. We also got to experience how conservation works in different countries and how people manage resources and wildlife internationally.Career & Skill Builder: This program will build your experience for a career in wildlife or conservation biology. Studying abroad further enhanced my abilities, which makes me more marketable for future jobs as I continue my path as a wildlife professional. For me, it’s all about practicing skills in repetition and this program provided me with an excellent base from which I will continue to grow upon. I got to experience working with people who spoke a different language and learned how to communicate to work effectively as a team.