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Class of 2015: Carmen Kraus

In just over seven days, double major Carmen Kraus (B.S. in Ecology, B.F.A. in Scienitific Illustration) will join the distinguished ranks of UGA graduates. What brought her to that unique combination of credentials?

Attending the Ecological Society of America annual meeting convinced me once and for all that I had chosen the correct career path. I went to as many lectures as I could, focusing mainly on bioremediation but also hearing some talks as varied as Amur leopard population density and kitchen gardens in France. The vast extent of research presented was exciting, and I hope to contribute to the meeting in the future. 

Has there been a particular faculty or staff member who’s had a big impact on your time at UGA? If so, who and why?

One of my favorite classes at UGA was Plant Taxonomy with Wendy Zomlefer, an associate professor in the department of plant biology. She cemented my interest in botany and always brought food to class from the plant family we were studying. 

I took a museum internship course over the summer at the UGA Herbarium where she is the curator. She hired me afterward, and I have worked there for a year and a half. Working at the UGA Herbarium is enjoyable, and I participated in several field collection trips. Additionally, Zomlefer is a scientific illustrator; she helped me with my botany illustrations, and I am happy to have an example of a professor who has successfully integrated science and art.

And we are also happy to have students who are successfully integrating science and art as well. So many great possibilities exist at this vital intersection. Very well done, and a great combination of experiences (and degrees) that will no doubt serve her well. Congratulations and best of luck, Carmen.


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