I am a Masters student at Temple University in Philadelphia, PA, where I study conservation biology with Dr. Brent Sewall. I am currently finishing up my thesis, which focuses on the spread and effects of white-nose syndrome - an invasive fungal infection impacting multiple hibernating bat species (although my research concentrates on the little brown bat specifically). This disease has decimated many populations of little brown bats across North America, and we are working hard to protect the remaining colonies in order to retain these important members of our local ecosystems. Prior to studying science, I received a Bachelor’s of Fine Art in Illustration from the Maryland Institute College of Art, and worked for several years as a freelance artist and sign painter. In 2016, I went back to school at Temple University, and received my Bachelor’s degree in Biology. I continued at Temple into the Master’s program, and expect to graduate at the end of this summer. Since I was a child, I have always been extremely passionate about nature and art. Opportunities that allow me to combine these two passions, like this fellowship, are the best of both worlds for me. I am beyond excited to be able to write for The Austin American-Statesman this summer through the AAAS Mass Media Fellowship! I also can’t wait to explore the city of Austin and its surrounding landscape; when I’m not doing field work or research, you can find me outside – rock climbing, hiking or biking. After the fellowship, I hope to continue to build on the skills that I develop at the Statesman and cultivate a career where I utilize art and storytelling to bring science and nature to a broad audience.