My name is Wei. I’m a third-year undergraduate at USF majoring in Environmental Science & Policy with a minor in Political Science. With the help of the USF Federal Credit Union Scholarship, I will be traveling to Curaçao this summer for 8 days to study coral reef ecology. It has always been my dream to scuba dive in a coral reef, and being able to accomplish this as a class makes the study abroad trip even more meaningful. I hope to help conserve our planet’s natural resources with my degree regardless of how the process is carried out. Therefore, I am currently deciding to become either a marine ecologist or an urban planner; being able to engage in this study abroad trip and an internship with a planning agency in Downtown Tampa for the summer of 2019 will get me familiar with the day-by-day processes of each job.
I will be studying the effects of urbanization on coral reefs in Curaçao. Coral reef data that is gathered from my field work will contribute to the composition of research papers published by the university. Being able to help identify and solve real-world issues during this study abroad trip makes me excited for my time there. I feel confident that I will pass the class given the time I have put into learning the marine life of the Caribbean along with the training for my scuba diving certification. I never thought I would be able to see a coral reef until I enrolled in this program. This class serves to help me not only live out my childhood dreams, but to also apply my scientific knowledge towards bettering international communities.