Choosing to write an honors thesis was easily one of the most important decisions and largest undertakings during my career here at CU. I have always been interested in biology and long ago decided that this was the field that I would like to pursue a career in. Although it was rather unintentional, I had been taking steps toward my own project for some time through my sophomore and junior year research assistantships, which dealt with global primate conservation and social perceptions of gray wolves in Wyoming, respectively. It was these projects that inspired me to an extensive literature review investigating how human population growth and fragmentation within the High Divide in the Northern Rockies ecologically impacts gray wolf and grizzly bear populations, and the subsequent policy and management suggestions.
As a student in the EBIO and ENVS departments, this project has acted as an incredible opportunity for me to synthesize my own interests and areas of study. I think one of the most valuable lessons this experience has taught me thus far is how to independently manage a project of this size, and that valuable research comes in many, many forms. I would highly recommend this experience to students who are interested as it has proven to be extremely gratifying experience.