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‘Every Zoology Major’s Dream’

July 14, 2017 – by Ohio Wesleyan University

Ohio Wesleyan students traveled to the Galapagos Islands and other parts of Ecuador in spring as part of a zoology Travel-Learning Course. They studied the island biology of the unique area. (Photo courtesy of Tami Panhuis)

Ohio Wesleyan Travel-Learning Course Visits Galapagos Islands

Name: Ashley Day ’18
Major: General Zoology
Minor: Health and Human Kinetics
Hometown: Plain City, OH

Experience: Day traveled to the Galapagos Islands as part of a Travel-Learning Course for her Island Biology (ZOOL 349) class. Scott Kelly and Tamara Panhuis, assistant professors of zoology, accompanied the OWU students on the trip.

Ashley Day
Ashley Day '18

Lessons learned: “During this experience, I learned that it is so important to take care of the world we live in, to conserve the ecosystems around us. There are so many important species that are declining due to human impact. This trip was highly surrounded around Charles Darwin and what he learned during his experience in the Galapagos Islands.

“While on the trip, we held classics discussions [based on] ‘The Origins of the Species,’ written by Darwin himself. It was an amazing experience to walk in [Darwin’s footsteps]. Experiences like this one matter because we learned so much, not just about the animals that inhabited the islands, but about how they arrived and how they are surviving.

“[T]aking what we learned from this trip will not only help us in future professions, but will also help people understand how important it is to conserve the world around us.”

Cloud Forest Ecuador
While in Ecuador, OWU students visited the Cloud Forest as part of their studies. Zoology faculty Scott Kelly and Tami Panhuis led the Travel-Learning Course. (Photo courtesy of Tami Panhuis)

Why I chose OWU: “I chose to come to OWU because of the atmosphere and the opportunities. OWU’s atmosphere is amazing as there is a sense of acceptance in all aspects of campus. We are diverse in so many aspects and are truly one big family. The opportunities at OWU are endless. I am able to be a student-athlete and excel in the classroom, [both of which] are important to me. The opportunity to take this Travel-Learning Course has been life-changing.

“It is every zoology major’s dream to visit the island that helped Darwin discover so much about evolution and speciation. Because of OWU, I had the opportunity for this dream trip to become a reality.”

My plans after graduation: “I am a rising senior, so I still have some time to determine my goals after graduation. My goal is to become an animal trainer with a specialty in training service animals.”