Statement of purpose:
My name is Greivin Ulate, and I am a first-year master’s student in the Fisheries, Wildlife, and Conservation Biology program at NC State University. I am originally from Costa Rica, where I grew up immersed in a highly biodiverse environment. I’ve always had an affinity and intuitive understanding of wildlife dynamics, and passion for observing and appreciating my natural surroundings. I am also an avid bird watcher and nature enthusiast. I first discovered these interests as a kid growing up on a farm in rural Costa Rica, where I became enamored with the natural world and saw firsthand the difficult balance of using and protecting the land. My family later moved to Monteverde, Costa Rica, which is home to one of the last pristine tracts of cloud forest in Central America and a booming ecotourism economy. Growing up in a place that works to both conserve biodiversity and promote economic growth inspires my interest in the field of reconciliation ecology. My curiosity in ecology and appreciation for the natural world led me to pursue a bachelor’s degree in forest sciences and wildlife management in Costa Rica and other professional experiences, including internships with the U.S. Forest Service and the Center for Tropical Science in Monteverde, Costa Rica. I am excited to be joining the 2022/23 Global Change Fellowship program and integrating my lived experiences from my home country into my proposed research and graduate studies at NC State.
Description of research:
As our ecosystems face increasing biodiversity loss, forest fragmentation, and natural disasters due to climate change, there is a heightened need to reconcile efforts in biodiversity conservation and human development. As a master’s student, I’m interested in pursuing research that answers the question: What approaches can land managers adopt to balance productivity and land use with efforts to conserve biodiversity, maintain vital ecological functions, and ensure that land use areas provide their various social and economic benefits? Given the importance of forests and wildlife biodiversity for mitigating the effects of climate change, my research would seek to develop reconciliation approaches that could be widely applied across forestry and wildlife conservation efforts in the United States and globally. I’m interested in utilizing techniques, such as rapid ecological assessments, to understand biophysical stressors on flora ad fauna in key land use areas and working directly with land managers and the public to co-develop science-based solutions. Completing my graduate education at NC State and participating as a Global Change Fellow will set the groundwork for a career focused on reconciliation ecology and serving as a critical link between land managers, researchers, and the public within the global context.
Keywords: Ecology, forestry, wildlife dynamics, climate impacts
Madhusudan Katti (Department of Forestry and Environmental Resources, NCSU)