Lauren Coe was recently awarded one of this year’s William Q. Wick Memorial Scholarships. Bill Wick (B.S. ‘50, M.S. ‘52) was a national leader in Extension Sea Grant and the Director of the Oregon Sea Grant program from 1973 to 1990.


What drew you to Oregon State and the Department?

I have been riding horses since I was 3 years old, and I have always been an animal lover.  After 8th grade, I began volunteering at the Oregon Zoo in the ZooTeen program and continued to do that for the next 5 years.  This was a great opportunity to learn about and educate zoo visitors about the animals and their conservation, as well as shadow zookeepers to see how they worked and what their responsibilities were.  I have known that I want to work with animals, but this experience provided me with a change to also work with conservation programs and figure out that I wanted to continue doing so as a career.  I grew up in Beaverton, so having a great having a program like Fisheries and Wildlife close by at Oregon State University was really appealing.  I was drawn to the program in part because it was based on conservation.


Tell us a little about your interest in fisheries and wildlife.

I am very interested in the wildlife aspect of the degree and being able to build my own specialization in conservation biology.  In the future, I want to work with wildlife research programs and Fisheries and Wildlife provides me with that opportunity.


What will you do with the scholarship?

Having this scholarship allows me to work fewer hours, which helps with balancing my schoolwork and extracurricular experiences.  The scholarship will also allow me to have the time to learn course material and enjoy the classes even more now that I can focus more of my time on it.


What are your hobbies and other interests?

I rode for OSU’s IHSA equestrian team last year, and riding horses is still a significant  part of my life.  I am also in the Sigma Kappa Sorority and have taken on a leadership role as Vice President of Scholarship.  This allows me to help guide other members academically and connect them to university resources.


What are your plans for next year?

I am in the Honors College so I will be working on an undergraduate thesis with Dr. Taal Levi over the next couple years. I would ideally like to do a research project involving wildlife genetics. I am also extremely excited about my internship with the San Diego Zoo this summer, where I have dreamed about working for a very long time.


What are your long-term career goals?

I am very interested in conservation education and wildlife genetics.  I like working with education programs and also exploring the research side of conservation.  From my previous experience, I really like working with zoos and captive breeding programs and plan on turning my passion for saving wildlife into a career.


If you could be any animal, what would it be and why?

My favorite animal is probably a horse.  Riding horses has been a significant part of my life and I couldn’t imagine it without them. They are really intelligent animals and working with them requires skill and hard work.


What else would you like us to know?

More people should know about the Fisheries and Wildlife program at OSU.  It is such a unique program and the professors in the department really care about students’ success. I’m really glad I found it because there is such a nice diversity with disciplines, which allows students to build the major around their interests.

As interviewed and reported by Dr. Ari Friedlaender, May 2016