Did you know a mentorship experience at Prince William Sound College steered an outdoor leadership enthusiast into the field of environmental science?

April 9, 2024

Hannah Bogdan's story shows how interdisciplinary collaboration, mentorship, and experiential learning happening at PWSC are making a difference in real-world environmental challenges.

Discovering Passions: Hannah Bogdan embarked on her academic journey with a clear goal in mind—to complete the outdoor leadership (ODL) program at PWSC, which is part of the Anchorage. However, her path took an unexpected turn when she discovered a passion for environmental sciences under the mentorship of Dr. Amanda Glazier.

Exploring The Natural World: Through courses like "Biota of " with Dr. Amanda Glazier, Hannah delved into natural sciences and environmental studies. She became captivated by the rich natural history of , particularly the Aleutian Islands chain, where she researched topics ranging from historical significance to ecological diversity and presented her findings at the PWSC Environmental Sciences Symposium.

Hands-On Research: Inspired by her newfound passion, Hannah became involved in collaborative research projects, including studying biofouling communities on oyster farms, and biofouling communities, which are organisms such as algae, that grow on marine objects. Partnering with organizations such as the Valdez Native Tribe, the University of Fairbanks (UAF), and the Prince William Sound Regional Citizens' Advisory Council (PWSRCAC), Hannah is continuing her work monitoring and testing methods to analyze the biofouling on oyster farms.

Mentorship Matters: Hannah's journey underscores the importance of mentorship in guiding students toward their passions and empowering them to become future leaders in . Under the guidance of Dr. Glazier, Hannah not only expanded her academic horizons but honed valuable skills as a researcher that will shape her future endeavors. 

What’s Next: Dr. Glazier secured a grant to teach an independent research class from PWSRCAC. This will cover the one-credit independent research fees, allowing Hannah to participate free of charge. Hannah will continue her research through the school year and present her work as a poster at the next PWSC Environmental Sciences Symposium held in May 2024.

 

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