Education as a Foundation

Mary Greagan has been busy since earning her SUNY Cobleskill degree in Wildlife Management. The 2018 SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Student Excellence winner has completed her first year in the University at Albany’s Master’s Program in Biodiversity, Conservation and Policy. Her experience as an intern with the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) will be integral to her thesis. She plans to develop educational programs on the identification, impact, and prevention of invasive species.

“I received such a great education in Wildlife Management at Coby that, while I am unsure of my ultimate career goal, I know educating others is part of it because of the example set by my professors,” says Greagan. “Two of the greatest benefits of my education are the connections I have made, and the diversity of field work, labs, and research opportunities.”

The field experience, labs, and research opportunities have prepared Greagan to make an impact now, and for years to come. “The knowledge, skill, and commitment to education in the Wildlife [Program] gives me hope about our future in conservation and makes me want to be part of it. It is not just about getting a degree; it is about reaching full potential.”

Greagan is especially intent on reaching her potential in the areas of education and outreach. She is currently designing artwork for a simulation-based game that teaches sustainability and resource responsibility. Additionally, she has found time to work as a land steward and educator at Pine Hollow Arboretum, southwest of Albany.

“People ask why I am in this line of work, and the answer is always the same,” says Greagan. “We can learn all we want about wildlife, ecosystems, their functions, and services, but that knowledge has limited value if we don’t share it. I want to enable people to share my passion and appreciation for the natural world, and hear them talk as enthusiastically as my fellow classmates would (and, I imagine, still do) every day.”

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