Off to PanamaGAMBIER, Ohio (May 23, 2004) Jesse Lasky's interest in ecology has led him from Kenyon's environmental center to Ecuador, where he studied tropical habitats during his junior year-and now to Panama, where he will conduct research as a Fulbright fellow.
Lasky, a graduating biology major from Cheswick, Pennsylvania, will study the effects on bird communities of the fragmentation of seasonally dry forests caused by housing, ranching, and other agricultural activities. Shortly before Commencement this month, he learned that he had been selected for a J. William Fulbright Fellowship, one of the federal government's premier scholarship programs.
Lasky spent the fall semester of his junior year in Ecuador as part of Boston University's tropical ecology program. "I began to learn about the challenges of conservation in poor developing nations," he says. "I have always loved nature, and birds especially. The biodiversity in tropical Latin America is amazing. I also really like arid environments."
At Kenyon, Lasky was a student manager of the Brown Family Environmental Center, where he helped organize student volunteer efforts, organized special projects and events, and led weekly bird-watching walks. He also served as an intern on an organic farm as part of an independent study during his junior year.
After completing his research in Panama, Lasky plans to enter the Peace Corps. He will work with the agricultural science and forestry program, which helps communities develop sustainable agriculture and tree use.
Kenyon seniors Mara Bernstein and Kerry Shannon were previously named winners of research Fulbright awards.