Downtown Flint, MI

©2019 by Flint River Ecology Study.

TEAM

Summer 2019

HEATHER A. DAWSON, PH.D

Associate Professor
Biology Department

I am an Associate Professor of fisheries and wildlife biology with ten years of experience at UM-Flint. Prior to that I was a fishery biologist with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. My interests are in fish ecology and management with a focus on aquatic invasive species. I am interested in the ecology of fish in the Flint River on UM-Flint’s campus in an effort to assess the health of the river now and after the restoration efforts. I also hope to help inform people of the potential recreational opportunities the Flint River provides and get people excited about the river now and in the future when areas of the river will be restored.

DANNY VICTOR

Student
Wildlife Biology, Spring '20

While growing up, working with wildlife has always been a dream of mine. I have been interested in working with wildlife and have been fishing my whole life. Being outside in nature with animals was always the thing I would rather being doing in my free time. Anything dealing with animals or nature interests me and makes me want to know more. Having an opportunity like this seems like an unreal experience. I get to spend my Summer outdoors working, while gaining needed knowledge from my professor and hands-on field work. Being able to physically learn about fish and field techniques teaches me things that a textbook could not. Opportunities like this one will help me gain the experience I need to go on to Graduate School to obtain my Master's Degree. I hope to eventually continue to further my knowledge to impact conservation issues that many animals are facing.

SAMANTHA BLOUIR

Student 
Wildlife Biology, '23

I decided I wanted to work with fish when I was only 12 years old. Fisheries and wildlife will give me valuable aquatic research experience while I work towards a future degree in marine biology, specializing in the study of sharks. This project is giving me hands on experience with fish, as well as teaching me about the work that goes into running a research lab.

KELSEY SIKON

Research Assistant
Bachelor of Science, Ohio State University

I decided on a career in fisheries when I volunteered with Cleveland Zoo as a teenager and learned of the many issues affecting aquatic life. I went on to earn my bachelors degree in environmental science/ aquatic sciences at the Ohio State University. After completing an internship with Ohio EPA, I took a few years off to travel and support my family. This exciting project has been a great step toward returning to the field! I hope to begin graduate school soon to research Aquatic Toxicology.

NICOLE BLANKERTZ

Student 
Wildlife Biology, Winter '20

I have been interested in a wildlife career for as long as I can remember, having been interested in animals since I was young. After graduating, I plan to pursue a graduate degree in fisheries and wildlife. I am primarily interested in studying predator ecology in the future in a research environment, with a special interest in carnivores and conservation. I have grown up fishing with my dad and also love marine biology and sharks. This project will help me to gain my first research experience before I graduate from UM-Flint while learning more about what field work is like and the various research techniques that go along with it.

SLOAN HUMMEL

Student 
Wildlife Biology, Winter '20

I first learned to fish with my dad and instantly fell in love with it. Just looking at bodies of water piques my curiosity and I always wonder what kind of fish lurk beneath. I've always known that someday my career was going to involve fish in some way. This project is giving me that first taste of doing work in the fish field and I am absolutely loving it!

BRYAN MIESEN

Student
Wildlife Biology, Winter '20

I have always been interested in fishing. I am an avid outdoorsman and I hunt and fish most of the year. When I got out of the Army in 2015 I decided I needed to find a new career and becoming a wildlife biologist would most fit my preferred lifestyle. My dream is to work with bears studying predator/pray relationships. This fishing job has given me the opportunity to really experience what sampling a population is like, as well as given some insight into the work that goes into studying the natural world. The time spent working with this team will allow me to gather valuable experience to further help me establish myself in the field.

CODI GREEN

Student 
Visual Communication, Winter '20

Working with the Flint River Ecology Study is great experience for my career in the visual communication field. I have been able to fill my portfolio with web design, graphic design, fine art, and video production experience. Being the only art student on the team has qualified me to take a leadership role and use what I've learned and all my experience to make the Flint River Ecology Study a brand. Dr. Dawson is such a knowledgeable person to work and collaborate with, she takes my ideas to the next level. This whole experience has prepared me as well as reassured me that I will have a rewarding future in my chosen field.