QERC Alumni take their knowledge and experience far and wide as they move into life’s next steps. Here are some of their stories.

Collin lives in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and just completed his MS in Environmental Science and Management at Duquesne University.

How has QERC impacted you?

“Professionally: My research experience at QERC gave me the confidence to pursue additional research projects later on. I think it also gave me a leg up when I applied for an internship at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI) in Panama. Had I not lived and carried out research in a tropical environment previously, I don’t think I would’ve gotten the job with them.

Even if you don’t intend to make a career out of tropical ecology research, the experience of managing your own project is tremendously valuable. Skills such as self-motivation, critical problem-solving, time management, and effective project planning can be developed by managing a research project. These skills will transfer to practically any other profession, and if you can demonstrate them, you will distinguish yourself from tons of other applicants.

“Personally: It’s cliché to say, but the memories I made there will last me a lifetime. The one thing nobody can ever take away from you are your life experiences. Don’t be ashamed to pursue them!”

Why should someone attend QERC?

“SNU has something truly world-class in QERC. Any other research institution in the world would be incredibly lucky to have a station in as spectacular of a location as QERC is in. When else will you have the chance to spend four months studying in one of the most unique and pristine tropical environments on the planet? The classes are interesting, the field trips are educational and adventurous, and the opportunities to conduct research are truly valuable. The experience one has at QERC is truly one-of-a-kind. Go while you can.”

Kenzie lives in Fort Worth, TX, working as a Physician Assistant in a primary care clinic.

How has QERC impacted you?

“QERC has impacted me deeply and taught me lessons that will last my entire life. During my time at QERC I learned the importance of sustainable living and protecting the environment. Another way it impacted me was that I was able to meet some of the most wonderful people that have become my lifelong friends. (They ALL came to my wedding and we still Skype!)”

Why should someone attend QERC?

“The reasons to travel abroad are endless! I cannot stress enough the importance of getting outside your american worldview in order to experiencing an entirely new culture, language and environment. It changes you in the best ways.”

Trae lives in Bethany, OK and graduates from the OUHSC PA Program in December 2017.

“For me, QERC provided the semester I needed to get away from the fast pace of life in the U.S. and reflect on myself and where I want my life to go.  It was during this semester I laid the foundations of my independence as a person.  I believe every student should spend a semester abroad to develop a broader world view and better understanding of other cultures. QERC provides the perfect place for the science major to go abroad without getting behind in their courses required for graduation.”