Name: Melissa Strickland
Year: Second year graduate student
Focus: Master's in Environmental Studies
School: College of Charleston
Undergraduate studies: College of Charleston
Undergraduate degree: Biology
Hometown: Aiken, SC
Hobbies: Yoga, Sailing, Nature photography, Reading, Dancing, Swimming, Exploring the outdoors

Thesis Research: Predictive modeling of the effect of changes in habitat composition and land use on the biology of the American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis).

Background: After spending my time as an undergraduate working on a variety of research projects studying the ecology of reptiles and insects, I was impressed enough with CofC and its faculty to stick around and join the MES program. The flexibility of MES allows me to apply GIS and other computational tools to questions integrating genomics and ecology. I've also been able to expand my GIS skill set working on projects for the Nature Conservancy and NOAA's Habitat Conservation Division. After graduation, I hope to go on to work as an environmental modeler on projects that will inform conservation and management practices.