Biology, Chemistry, Physical geography and earth science.
For a nature lover like Kyle Enot, ’11, Carthage’s campus is a dream come true. Between the Pike River, Lake Michigan, and Carthage’s resident arboretum, an environmental science major like Kyle can get some serious hand-on experience.
“During the summer of 2010, I got to participate in the Carthage Summer Undergraduate Research Experience program,” he says. “I designed my own experiment with the guidance of Dr. Gartner to determine if algae could be used as a bioremediation tool for atrazine. It was a great experience being able to work in a lab for the summer with professors whom I knew, surrounded by other students who wanted to do research.”
That sense of community within the Environmental Science Program, and at Carthage in general, was one of Kyle’s favorite things about the College when he was looking at schools.
“It was ideal for me to be able to connect with my classmates and professors so that if I ever had questions or difficulty with the material, I could always find the help,” he said. “The Environmental Science Program allows for growth and development into what you really want to get into. I was able to follow my own inclination to learn biology, chemistry and geography because of the way the programs are intertwined.”
Originally a biology major, Kyle switched to environmental science during his sophomore year and has never regretted it. He gets satisfaction out of the outdoorsy nature of the department. His interest in biology led him to take Dr. Thomas Carr’s dinosaur J-Term course, where he learned about the dinosaurs’ evolution into mammals. He is also a member of Beta Beta Beta, the national biological honors society.
“The biggest surprise for me at Carthage was that if you had the initiative to test your own experiment design, the Carthage professors were there to support you.”
“I want to be an Environmental Toxicologist.”
How have Carthage faculty had an impact on your life or Carthage career?
“There have been many professors who have helped me along the way and have made a large impact on my life. I wouldn’t say that I have a favorite professor because each one helped me develop in different ways and I am just grateful that I could have had that experience.”
A Carthage Symposium on aquatic ecology and hydrology, taught by Scott Hegrenes, associate professor of biology, and Professor Matthew Zorn, associate professor of geography and earth science. “In the aquatic ecology class, I learned about aquatic organisms and how they interacted in their environment and then in hydrology class, I learned how to measure watersheds and precipitation and the concepts behind waters movement in the hydrosphere. But the best part would be labs when both professors taught the course and we would head out to the field and they enthusiastically expressed what they knew, making the class that much more enjoyable.”
“My toughest class to date would have to be Genetics, taught by Prof. Dan Choffnes. I took this class to gain a better understanding of heredity and inheritance of traits and I definitely learned that. But it took a lot of background reading so that I could keep up with the class, since I had not taken Cellular and Molecular Biology.”
Favorite moments and memories at Carthage
“Some of my favorite moments at Carthage would have to be when I was an R.A for Denhart 3B and meeting with the guys and getting to know them. By the end of the year, I wasn’t just an R.A. to them but a friend.”
Biggest surprise so far
“The biggest surprise for me at Carthage College was that if you had the initiative to test your own experiment design, or wanted to take a class not really related to your field, the Carthage professors were there to support you. I had nothing more but a faint idea about my research topic sophomore year, but as I started to talk to professors, they helped my thought grow into the experiment that it is today. I know without their help, I wouldn’t have been able to do so. And I know that if I didn’t take some classes outside of my major track, I may not of had the idea at all.”
Why should other students consider your major? What advice do you have for them?
“Bring a jacket and a pair of boots. Some of the best experiences are going to come from working outdoors during the labs, taking samples of bogs, rivers, soil and species.”