Internships and Semester Study Abroad with WEC student Adrian Dougherty

This fall, Adrian Dougherty traded in the flat landscapes of Gainesville for the mountains and grasslands of Ecuador through a study abroad program. This past summer, the senior wildlife ecology and conservation major interned at the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge through UF’s biology department. Last summer, Dougherty worked at Three Lakes Wildlife Management Area as the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission habitat management intern.

Dougherty believes she earned her internship roles by actively seeking out opportunities and applying to positions that interest her. She shares that students should, “Treat applying to jobs and internships you really want like a job in and of itself: pay attention to detail and put all of your effort into it.”

Dougherty has been working in Quito and the Galapagos Islands through the University of Florida’s study abroad partnership with the Universidad de San Francisco en Quito. This is the second year UF has partnered with this university for the study abroad program.

In fact, it is through a previous study abroad experience where Dougherty learned about this new program through the UF/IFAS Wildlife Ecology and Conservation Department.

“I studied abroad in Belize for three weeks the summer after my freshman year, and I had been wanting to do a long-term study abroad program ever since, to truly get immersed in the culture and push myself outside of my comfort zone,” Dougherty said. “The professor from my program in Belize told me that WEC was creating this new, semester-long study abroad and I immediately decided I would go.”

Dougherty is currently in Ecuador taking ecology-based coursework while also enjoying the local landscapes. Her favorite experience so far has been a trip to the páramo, which is a grassland habitat in the upper Andes.

“We started off early in the morning, taking a bus to the top of a mountain in the Cayambe Coca Ecological Reserve and started our hike down,” Dougherty described. “It was freezing, literally. We slowly hiked down the mountain through snow and mud, looking at the plant structures and their survival strategies in such a harsh environment. It even started snowing on us!”

For Dougherty, studying in the comfortable Florida climate in which she is accustomed to is one thing, but traveling abroad to a place with a different language, new people, and unfamiliar environmental problems is another. “It really teaches you how to see things from another point of view,” she shared.

Dougherty finds that it is important to be able to move to a new place, assimilate, and learn how to apply knowledge that she’s gained during her time in Gainesville to a new situation and a new place with an entirely different set of needs and background.

“It is an entirely different experience to travel and be able to apply knowledge I’ve gained through my time at UF to a real-world situation. It brings a whole new level of appreciation and excitement because I actually know what to look for now!”

Dougherty has two minors, one in international studies and another in Spanish. She explains that it has been invaluable during her time abroad, living with Spanish-speaking families. Her Spanish instructor at UF said that when you obtain a new language, you obtain a new worldview. Dougherty knows this will be vital to her future career – she hopes to work for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service as a wildlife biologist.

Dougherty encourages other CALS students to study abroad by actively seeking opportunities by reaching out to professors and program coordinators. If you are interested in studying abroad click here to visit the CALS website for more information on the multitude of programs available through CALS across six continents. If you would like to get involved in international or state-side research opportunities and don’t know where to start, click here to visit the CALS website for a list of resources to help you get started.

“Getting research experience [at UF] is easier than it sounds,” Dougherty said. “Pay attention to emails asking for research help. If you want to work in something specific, ask research professors and grad students. All you have to do is reach out.”



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Posted: September 30, 2019

Category: Conservation, Natural Resources, Professional Development, UF/IFAS Teaching, Wildlife
Tags: Career Services, College Of Agricultural And Life Sciences, Internships, Professional Development, Study Abroad, Wildlife Ecology And Conservation


December 15, 2021

Amazing job my friend! Your perseverance and success is inspiring.

Andrea Gallik
December 15, 2021

So very amazed by you Jason! You have made your family and UF so proud. Your story lights a path for others. May you continue leading the way with your perseverance and integrity!

Michele Dysna leconte
December 15, 2021

Congratulations!!! Very inspiring story, May continue to be a beacon of hope for other young men dealing with similar issues

Matt Parker
December 15, 2021

Congratulations Mr. Coby. 11 straight ‘A’s eh? Way to go. Now go forth and fix the environment. Your girls look good with the current graduate. Nicely done. Beautiful fam.

December 15, 2021

Thank you for helping my nephew Jason I know he wasn’t a quicker but is this song I know if it’s Roman it will make it I’m proud of him and I look I love you and we always be there to support you we love you we love you aunt to Mimi

Anne Menard
September 14, 2021

You can post my comments.

Anne Menard
September 14, 2021

What a wonderful learning opportunity for the college students & it helps with their future education & career planning. Thank you Tall Timbers.

December 22, 2020

Dear sir, Thank you for your post. I Love group study.

Samuel Sam
December 10, 2020

Dear sir, Thank you for your post. Group study is the main for all students life and we learn a lot of things

Susan Weller
November 1, 2020

Congratulations for rewards well earned. Keep up this very important research. We are dependent on the honey bees. Your work is helping educate us all. The use of DDT was stopped due to scientist like you. Please continue to develop more earth friendly solutions for the good of mankind.

August 7, 2020


suba suba
June 11, 2020

Really appreciate you sharing this article.Really looking forward to read more. Keep writing.

Mohammed Mahmood Mohammed
May 12, 2020

Congratulations you earned that degree

May 7, 2020

Congrats Dr. Kawther. With your efforts you make what is difficult, been easy to get. Keep going don’t give up. Always the beginning is difficult but with the patience will be easy.

Pialang Indo
March 29, 2020

Very true this virus is very contagious, serious and potentially deadly virus hopes we can do what we can to reduce the spread of this virus and find the best solution to eradicate it. I was very scared until now and just stayed at home all day. Thank you for the information.

Pam Humphrey
December 19, 2019

Lindsey is an amazing, competent and caring young woman. She will be an asset to any company forward-looking enough to hire her.

Naomi Rose
December 19, 2019

Wow! I am so proud of her. Nana

Dagang Valas
December 14, 2019

Congratulation Rivas, hopefully the knowledge gained can be useful in the future and can help the community. Merry Christmas and happy new year too.

Ginny Reiss
October 1, 2019

So proud of you Adrian!!!

R. William (Bill) Henderson
June 21, 2019

Father figures are needed in all parts of education and in all of life. I teach GED to inmates in a local jail and many of the problems these inmates have stems from their many drop out fathers both male and female.

Amy Vasquez
June 20, 2019

Three perfect examples of men with integrity.

April 26, 2019

Way to go, Kendra!

April 1, 2019

Indeed everyone need to eat, and many also complain about the food source quality. I think we all should, at least, do farming in our homes. If the lack of space is a problem, then we should use vertical farming methods. This will not only clean our environment but also reduce the peoples depression (as looking at green reduces depression and is good for mental health).

Linda Nolan
March 16, 2019

Great information! Thank you Dana for sharing Ms. Clark’s enthusiasm about Florida’s agricultural importance.

March 22, 2018

I am sooo proud of Gallagher n the example given to her by these wonderful women encouraging others to jump in n make a difference. I say take your places with men n unite making the difference side by side. WELL DONE!!!

Edelyn Tidholm
March 17, 2018

Great article!

Karen Webster
February 21, 2018

We are very proud of you and your dedication to make agriculture better.

February 21, 2018

Enjoyed reading your article. It was well written and I could tell that you had put a lot of thought into what you wanted to say. Wishing you a great deal of success as you work toward your dream of becoming a lawyer. May God bless and watch over you as you embark on this journey.

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