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Conor McGowan - Ph.D. Candidate, Wildlife & Fisheries
Posted: 08/28/2006

Conor McGowan

What do you do:
Ph.D. Candidate, Wildlife and Fisheries

Where do you study:
University of Missouri

When did you realize your love for nature:
My Uncle John frequently took me on hikes in the woods to show me the “wonders of the natural world.”  I also was an avid fan of David Atenbourough’s television documentaries (on nature) as a child living in England. I always loved camping and exploring the outdoors on my own and with the Boy Scouts. Wake Forest directed my interest towards birds.

Why science: 
I like science because I am an inherently curious person. As a scientist I get to observe and ask questions about the world. I get to look for answers to those questions. I also can have a positive impact on the world by researching ways to protect and manage rare or endangered species.

How would you advise others:
You have to love this stuff!  It’s not easy spending so much time away from family and friends. If you do love it, be aggressive and pursue every opportunity. Like in any professional field having contacts is a great thing and you should not be afraid to use them.