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In-Person Opportunities 

In-Person Mentoring and Shadowing


  1. Title: Botany or biodiversity career chat, tour/shadowing in molecular lab
    Mentor: Pamela Soltis, Curator FLMNH
    Number of students: Up to 5
    Description: Students will extract DNA and analyze DNA sequences to reconstruct family trees of species. They will meet with graduate students and post-docs to discuss educational and career paths. If there is time, we will visit the greenhouses to see some really cool plants from around the world.
    Location: University of Florida, Dickinson Hall Room 301 (Gainesville, FL)

  2. Title: Ichthyology (fishes)collections tours
    Mentor: Gabriel Somarriba, Master's Student.
    Number of students: up to 5.
    Description: Collections Tour: A guided tour of the Ichthyology collections and the diversity of fishes represented with an activity to learn a bit about curating specimens and using fish morphological characters for identification. Potential for a fish photography component depending on time and attendance. 
    Location: University of Florida, Dickinson Hall (Gainesville, FL)

  3. Title: Ichthyology field trip
    Mentor: Gabriel Somarriba, Master's Student
    Number of students: 5
    Description: An opportunity to go out into the field and collect fishes using a variety of methods; involves wading in a creek, walking through mud, and being out in the sun. Wading and collecting fishes with dipnets, seines, and hook and line. Plans subject to change due to weather and water levels. 
    Location: University of Florida, Dickinson Hall (Gainesville, FL)

  4. Title: Behavioral Disease Ecology Research
    Mentor: Nick Keiser. Assistant Professor, and graduate students in his lab. 
    Number of students: 2
    Description: We study the behavioral drivers of infectious diseases in wild ecosystems. We'd love to have you participate in the day-to-day activities in our laboratory, research greenhouse, and parasite collection! We're willing to be flexible to whatever the shadowers/mentees are interested in experiencing - hands-on research, checking out the collection to talk about curatorial practices, chatting about career options, etc. 
    Location: University of Florida, Carr Hall (Gainesville, FL)

  5. Title: Evolution and animal behavior career chat
    Mentor: Juliette Rubin, PhD student
    Number of students: 2
    Description: I acted as a mentor in last year's iDigTRIO conference and enjoyed the role very much! I also was a PUSH4It coach last year, which is a UF program aimed at helping undergraduate students carry out their 4-year Bachelor's degree goals. I have also mentored several cohorts of undergraduate students in a lab setting, facilitating their own research projects, as well as providing instruction on various lab/field techniques. Thus I would love to talk to students about evolution and animal behavior careers, or any related topics. 
    Location: University of Florida, TBD (Gainesville, FL)

  6. Title: Plant and animal ecology chat
    Mentor: Caroline Baruzzi, Postdoctoral Associate
    Number of students: 6
    Description: I'm happy to chat with students about anything related to animal, plant, and fire ecology, and how I got to study them. I'm also happy to discuss general science-related career topics -e.g., how to apply for grad school or how to find a mentor to start doing research. With animals, in particular, I've been doing most of my research using camera traps or direct behavioral observations, so I can show videos and pictures of my research to give an idea of what these types of studies entail.
    Location: University of Florida, TBD (Gainesville, FL)

  7. Title: Invertebrate zoology field and laboratory work
    Mentors: Jessica Whelpley and Abby Uehling
    Number of students: 6
    Description: Join us for a day of collecting marine invertebrates in Cedar Key! We will then learn how to identify the animals we collect, prepare them for museum curation and extract DNA! This is a two day opportunity.
    Location:  University of Florida (Gainesville, FL) Dickinson Hall and Cedar Key, Florida 

  8. Title: Exploring science librarianship
    Mentor: Tara Cataldo, Biological Sciences Librarian
    Number of students: 2
    Description: Join Tara to explore ways to prepare for and teach workshops on scientific literature, searching, citation management or research metrics, creating online guides for online information in biology, botany, zoology or genetics. Look at data and organizational side of science. 
    Location: University of Florida, Marston Science Library (Gainesville, FL)

  9. Title: Discussing life as a practicing physician
    Mentor: Jaya Kolli, Lecturer
    Number of students: 2
    Description: I have been a practicing physician for more than 40 years and teaching health professional students since 45 years. I had the pleasure and honor of mentoring students from many countries, cultures and ethnic backgrounds and I take pride and pleasure mentoring specially pre-college students  
    Location: University of Florida, Physiology, CG 020D (Gainesville, FL)

  10. Title: Explore the links between human culture and biodiversity through human history.
    Mentor: Michelle LeFebvre, Curator
    Number of students: 2
    Description: Michelle LeFebvre is an Assistant Curator of Archaeology with a focus on exploring links between human culture and biodiversity through human history. She welcomes the opportunity to mentor students interested in learning more about educational pathways and careers that bridge social and natural sciences, especially in natural history museum settings. 
    Location: University of Florida, Dickinson Hall (Gainesville, FL)

  11. Title: Soil ecology lab tour and chat
    Mentor: Dorota Porazinska, Assistant Professor 
    Number of students: 2-3 at a time.
    Description: Join Dorota as she shares stories about nematodes and microbes, demonstrations using microscopes and how they study them, interactions with graduate students, tour the lab and equipment. 
    Location: University of Florida, Entomology and Nematology (Gainesville, FL)

  12. Title: Marine ecology career chat
    Mentor: Diana Chin, Postdoctoral Fellow.
    Number of students: max 3 at a time
    Description: Depending on students' interests, we will discuss a variety of topics related to careers in marine ecology, including preparation in college or graduate school, how I (and colleagues) got where we are today, and what a week in the life of a marine ecologist might look like.  
    Location: University of Florida, Soil and Water Sciences (McCarty A) (Gainesville, FL)

  13. Title: Mammalogy (bats) graduate school and entomology lab experience
    Mentor: Laura Nicholson, Master's Student
    Number of students: 2-3 
    Description: Learn what it is like to do bioacoustic research on bats and the process of studying ecological connections as a graduate student at the University of Florida. Students would be able to accompany me to lab to see the process of processing (identifying, sorting and counting) insect specimens in person, as well as the process of analyzing bat acoustic calls through the bioacoustic software Kaleidoscope. I am also happy to demonstrate how to (and students may help out as well if there is access to additional computers!) process game camera photos to better understand the response of the mammal community to restoration efforts.
    Location: University of Florida, Newins-Ziegler Hall  (Gainesville, FL)

  14. Title: Graduate school shadowing and chat
     Mentor: Kaili Gregory, Master's Student
    Number of students: 1
    Description: Attend classes and meetings (day in the life of a graduate student) working on population analysis of a freshwater turtle species. There is no field work component to my research. My work centers around decision making in natural resources and quantitative methods to analyze populations. 
    Location: University of WEC, USGS Co-op unit Bldg (Gainesville, FL)

  15. Title: Blueberry plant physiology tour (Undergraduate students only)
    Mentor: Gerardo Nunez, Assistant Professor
    Number of students: 2.
    Description: We will visit two or more ongoing experiments in Gainesville (Main Campus) and PSREU (Citra, FL) focused on blueberry plant physiology. We will measure gas exchange and taste fruit from young and established blueberry bushes.
    Location: University of Florida, Fifield Hall (Gainesville, FL)

  16. Title: Agricultural industry job opportunity exploration
    Mentor: Md Babar, Associate Professor
    Number of students: 2
    Location: University of Florida, 2005 SW 23rd Street, bldg 350 (Gainesville, FL)

  17. Title: Ecosystem services from forage/livestock systems
    Mentor: Liza Garcia, Faculty
    Number of students: 3-5.
    Description: Our research projects and daily activities at NFREC in which graduate students and faculty are involved, are great examples of potential careers in agriculture. The challenges of our modern world require well-trained scientists with the skills to face the pressure of a growing population, and the global demand of food to provide nutrition security. The possibility to visit an University of Florida Research Station in North Florida and interact with faculty and graduate students conducting their research experiments in animal sciences and in agriculture. 
    Location: North Florida Research and Education Center (Quincy, FL)

  18. Title: Exploring the possibilities and opportunities that are available at UF and beyond
    Mentor: John Solet, Nutrition Educator
    Number of students: 5
    Description: This shadowing experience is to help bridge the marginalized gap in isolated communities. This shadowing experience is open to all. As a first-generation high school and college graduate, I look to help other minority students explore opportunities that were never shared with us by our parents. Mentoring and exposure are two things that helped me overcome so many life-obstacles. This opportunity would be an honor to help another generation of marginalized students see the possibilities that are around them. 
    Location: Escambia County

  19. Title: Learn about opportunities and responsibilities of an academic career in horse behavior, management, and welfare
    Mentor: Carissa Wickens, Associate Professor, Extension Equine Specialist.
    Number of students: 5
    Description: Improving the sustainability of the Florida and U.S. equine industries through scientific inquiry and extension education/outreach. Providing students an opportunity to ask questions and to learn more about undergraduate and graduate programs in Animal Sciences, to discuss opportunities to become involved in the field of equine science, and to explore the equine industry. 
    Location: University of Florida, TBD, (Gainesville, FL)

  20. Title: Entomology Career Chat and Lab Tour
    Mentor: Rebecca Baldwin, PhD.
    Number of students: 30
    Description: Explore the biological field of entomology and the diversity of career fields from public health, medicine, research, agriculture and pest management. Participants will have a classroom question and answer session with scientists about careers and opportunities in entomology, then they will have an opportunity to interact with live arthropods, take a tour of the department that includes displays of social insect colonies and examples of technology produced through collaboration between entomology and engineering, and then will visit research labs where they can participate in a medical/urban entomology research experience exploring how mosquitoes are attracted to hosts. 
    Location: University of Florida, Entomology and Nematology - Steinmetz Hall  (Gainesville, FL)

  21. Title: Medical technologist or Microbiology chat
    Mentor: Chanel Mosby Haundrup
    Number of students: unknown
    Description:  I was a medical technologist in the hospital and then a PhD student in microbiology.  I can talk about both.
    Location: University of Florida, TBD (Gainesville, FL)

  22. Title: Extension career chat
    Mentor: Yvette Goodiel, Extension Agent III
    Number of students: 1-2
    Description: Yvette works with landscapers, nursery growers, farmers and is willing and able to chat about any of these aspects or about Extension in general. If desired, I could offer demonstration of farm soil moisture sensor technology by having the student conduct a field site visit with me.
    Location: UF/IFAS Extension Martin County office, 2614 SE Dixy Highway (Stuart, FL)

  23. Title: Marine Extension chat
    Mentor: Brittany Scharf, Extension Agent III and PhD student
    Number of students: 2
    Description: Learn about Marine Extension programming and how citizen science is incorporated to meet the needs of the stakeholders in the community. Depending on ongoing projects, may visit the UF/IFAS Tropical Aquaculture Laboratory in Ruskin, Florida 16110.
    Location: UF/IFAS Extension Hernando County  (Ruskin, FL)

  24. Title: Pest Management Discipline (Weed Science) experience
    Mentor: Pratap Devkota, Assistant Professor
    Number of students: 5
    Description: Students will gain knowledge and experience on crop production and pest management challenges. Career opportunities and required skills for agriculture and pest management related careers will be highlighted. Students will have an opportunity to seek answers to their query related to crop production, agriculture industry, scope of agriculture production in Florida and beyond, and other topics of their interest.
    Location: West Florida Research and Education Center, (Jay, FL)

  25. Title: Tropical plant collection digitalization experience
    Mentor: Zack Brym, Assistant Professor
    Number of students: 3
    Description: Students will be introduced to the plant collections and digitalization efforts ongoing at the UF/IFAS Tropical Research and Education Center. Students may choose to get involved with documentation and archiving with the project. This will likely be provided as a remote learning opportunity, though students are welcome in-person if available in Miami-Dade. 
    Location: Tropical Research and Education Center - Agroecology Lab (Homestead, FL)

  26. Title: Water resources career chat and exploration
    Mentor: Abbey Tyrna, Extension Agent
    Number of students: 2
    Description: The pathway to higher education is not always a straight line.  During this mentoring experience, we will examine your thoughts, interests, and ideas regarding higher education and come up with an easy to navigate plan to get you where you want to go.  We will also be sure to take time to inventory available resources and connections that can assist you along the way.
    Location: UF|IFAS Extension Sarasota County  

  27. Title: Livestock/Pre- veterinarian chat (Undergraduate students only)
    Mentor: Lizzie Whitehead, Extension Agent- Livestock and Natural Resources.
    Number of students: 1
    Description: The student will be able to see the office work and research that we do in extension. They will also be able to ride along if we have a local farmer or rancher out. Love to share how I got this job and what it entails. 
    Location: 2266 N Temple Ave Bradford County Extension Office (Starke, FL)

  28. Title: Tropical fruit marketing experience
    Mentor: Trent Blare, Assistant Professor, he/him/his.
    Number of students:1
    Description: The student would witness my extension activities in working with small scale growers to develop business plans and put them into action for fruit, vegetable, and ornamental plant industries in central and south Florida. 
    Location: Tropical Research and Education Center,18905 S.W. 280 Street, (Homestead, FL) 

  29. Title: Urban ecology: sustainable landscape design chat
    Mentor: Jesse Jones, Research/Extension Associate (PhD student starting Jan. 2022)
    Number of students:1-4
    Description: Join Jesse for a conversation answering questions about academic coursework and other important decisions in urban ecology and landscape design. 
    Location: University of Florida, TBD (Gainesville, FL)

  30. Title: Soil Nutrient Lab Visit (Undergraduate students only)
    Mentor: Mica James, PhD candidate
    Number of Students: 2
    Description: We will take a tour of the lab wherein I will describe some of the procedures we do and explain their rationale. Afterward we could sit and chat about our potential career paths and or even tackle some more in-depth discussion of the statistical analyses I'm working on. If the student(s) wants to do an extraction we can plan on a slightly longer time period (3hours) as opposed to a more standard 40mins to an hour.
    Location: University of Florida, McCarty A (Gainesville, FL)

  31. Title: Grad school mentoring & Fisheries Lab Shadowing experience 
    Mentor: Kristie Perez, PhD student  
    Number of students: 1-2 
    Description:  I have a background in stakeholder engagement and aquaculture/ fish health. I am currently working on a stakeholder project for an aquatic preserve and a series of experiments for a science collaborative project, including documenting shellfish filtration rates and condition index values. Participants would have an opportunity to replicate this work and discuss the larger contribution these studies can make to coastal management.
     Location: UF Fisheries / Millhoppper Campus - 7922 NW 71st St, Gainesville, FL 32653

  32. Title: Explore tissue engineering and biomaterials UF Biomedical Engineering 
    Mentor: Eleana Manousiouthakis, Postdoctoral Associate 
    Number of students: 1-2 
    Description: Students will learn about protein-based materials and fabricate their own hyaluronan (used for beauty products, medical applications, etc.) based hydrogels in the lab. We will also have the opportunity to talk about careers in bioengineering and materials engineering, from research to industry (including artificial protein/meat). We hope to answer any questions the students may have and provide an excellent opportunity for them to see hands on biomaterial work  
    Location: 1275 Center Drive Biomedical Sciences Building Gainesville FL 32611  

  33. Title: Organic and sustainable veggie production 
    Mentor: James Longanecker, Field and Fork Farm Manager 
    Number of students: 5 
    Description:  Join James to have a conversation about organic and sustainable vegetable production, or to get involved in a gardening project.  
    Location: CALS - Field and Fork Garden 

  34. Title: Evolution and ecology career chat  
    Mentor: Rilquer Mascarenhas da Silva, PhD Student 
    Number of students:
    Description:  I would love to share my experiences as a researcher with students that are interested in following an academic career. I have mentored undergrad students in several types of investigations regarding ecology and evolution research, with focus on biodiversity, biogeography and conservation. I have also had undergrad students join me during fieldwork activities. 
    Location: City College NY, or Virtual  

  35. Title: Wildlife ecology / avian ecology career chat 
    Mentor: Meghan Beatty, PhD student 
    Number of students: 2 
    Description:  I am a PhD student in wildlife ecology and have conducted fieldwork with birds, turtles, and snakes and worked in outdoor education. We can talk about what day-to-day work as a wildlife ecology graduate student looks like (both in the field and in the lab) and about the different paths you can take that can lead to a career/graduate program in wildlife ecology.    
    Location: University of Florida, Wildlife Ecology and Conservation Department / Newins-Ziegler Hall (Gainesville, FL)

  36. Title: Immunology chat
    Mentor: Joseph Larkin, Aso Professor  
    Number of students: Depends on the format 
    Description:  I would discuss my career choices and answer questions  
    Location: University of Florida, microbiology and cell science (Gainesville, FL)

  37. Title: Biological Engineering lab visit and/or career chat 
    Mentor: Ana Martin-Ryals, Assistant Professor 
    Number of students: 5 per in-person visit, up to 20 virtually 
    Description:  Interested in learning how you can apply biological sciences and engineering to solve important societal challenges like producing food, protecting our water resources water, and creating renewable bio-based energy and materials? Then join Dr. Martin-Ryals from the department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering for a virtual chat or lab tour. During this mentor chat and/or lab tour, you will learn how engineers are using advanced sensing and control technology to improve food production systems on Earth and even in space! You also see how an understanding of biological and environmental sciences combined with computer programing and modeling can help us better manage our natural resources, and how we can use natural biological processes and microbes to create renewable energy and other bio-based resources like bioplastic! Dr. Martin-Ryals will also share her experience as a undergraduate in biological engineering and her path to becoming a research professor in this field. 
    Location: University of Florida, Agricultural and Biological Engineering (Gainesvile, FL)

  38. Title: Exploring Virology chat
    Mentor: Matthew Phillips, Postdoctoral Associate 
    Number of students:  
    Description:  I do basic laboratory research investigating how different things in the gut, such as bacteria and bile, affect viruses that cause disease in humans. I focus on norovirus, which causes diarrhea and vomiting, and is a common outbreak on cruise ships. I can mentor about graduate school (what it is like and what is required), basic research, working as a scientist, academia in general, and the area of virology research specifically. 
    Location: University of Florida, Molecular Genetics and Microbiology (Gainesville, FL)

  39. Title: Career chat about ornithology, anatomy, paleontology, or museum 
    Mentor: Catherine Early, Museum Curator 
    Number of students:
    Description:  I can provide an hour-long informational interview opportunity for students who are interested in ornithology, anatomy, paleontology, or museum collections. 
    Location: Biology Department, Science Museum of Minnesota (Minnesota)


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