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CALS Alumna Highlight: Cara Huntley

Cara Huntley graduated with her bachelor’s degree in entomology and nematology in 2012 and her master’s degree in forest resources and conservation in 2014. She is currently working as the Camping Services Manager for Girl Scouts of West Central Florida and the Camp Wildwood Summer Camp Director.

What brought you to CALS and your department? What first sparked your interest in your major?

I knew I wanted to get into a more people-oriented career, I pulled out the big book of majors I received at orientation and started to read through. I made my very first appointment with Dr. Carl Barfield, and by the time I walked out of his office I was enrolled in entomology and nematology and already had an official Entomology Club T-shirt.

Was there a particular CALS faculty or staff member that was influential in your career path?

Dr. Taylor Stein was influential in my career path; his introduction to ecotourism class got me super excited to move into my current career!

What do you find to be the best part of your job?

My favorite part is the look on a girl’s face when she learns something new about nature or learns that girls can like bugs too! It is like I have shown them a whole new world full of magic.

What are some exciting projects you have worked on in the course of your career?

I run a 589-acre summer camp location. Due to COVID-19, we switched to entirely virtual in summer 2020. I was so excited to find out our “Summer Camp in a Box” program was awarded the Edie Klein Award for Program Excellence by the Southeastern American Camp Association!

“Apply to work at camps during the summer. It’s the best skill-building for going into any career and a whole lot of fun! Camps around the state and country are working hard to operate safely this summer and need lots of great staff to make that happen!”

– Cara Huntley

Entomology and nematology includes the study of insects, mites, ticks, spiders, and nematodes. These creatures can have both helpful and harmful effects on our food, environment, and health. Students study ecology, medically significant arthropods, social insects, insect management, physiology, behavior, evolution, natural ecosystem cycles, and systematics. Find a CALS major that suits your interests by taking our majors quiz. You can also find information regarding our undergraduate and graduate programs on our website. Questions for Cara Huntley regarding her experiences in entomology and nematology should be directed to cannhuntley@gmail.com.

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