Juneau, Alaska (KINY) – Kayla Drumm has the distinction of being the first graduate of the joint UAS/UAF Bachelor of Science in Fisheries and Ocean Sciences degree program.
Established in 2017, the Juneau-based program takes full advantage of faculty and resources at UAF, intimate class sizes at UAS, and the natural laboratory of Southeast Alaska. Students in the program have numerous opportunities to engage in real-world science with top faculty, and easy access to the ocean, freshwater lakes and streams, the intertidal habitat, and wetlands.
“Growing up in Alaska, I have always been interested in marine life, especially fish,” notes Drumm. “I’ve always planned on staying in Alaska and have known I wanted to work in the fisheries field. I had originally enrolled in the Marine Biology Program. I started looking into the fisheries program and decided to switch to Fisheries in the Spring of 2018. It felt like a much better fit. Later that summer I found out I was pregnant with my daughter and the mix of in-person and online classes really helped me finish my degree and succeed. I would like to thank my family, friends, and professors for all the support and encouragement. I am very excited to have my degree in a field that I love and looking forward to where it will take me.”
Dr. Mike Navarro, the UAS coordinator implementing the program, remarked that it is gratifying working with colleagues at both UAS and UAF, seeing the joint degree grow from an idea into reality. Currently, there are 12 students in the program with new students expected to sign up for the fall semester.
“Many of these students share similar backgrounds as Kayla,” said Navarro. “They are working hard to earn this degree for themselves, and like Kayla, each brings with them a valuable perspective to fisheries science.”
Navarro congratulates Drumm, who he considers a trailblazer for this degree.
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