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Amazing Student: Alex Cummins

Undergraduate Degree: I graduated with my undergraduate degree in fisheries from Warnell in August 2015.

Alex Cummins with sturgeonMaster’s Degree:

Currently, I’m working on my M.S. in fisheries management. My thesis will focus on two species of endangered sturgeon within the Savannah River and I hope to graduate in fall 2017. 

Hometown: 
I spent my entire life before college living in Lawrenceville, GA, just a short drive down 316 but after being in Athens for 5 years it has a special place in my heart.

University/Warnell highlights, achievements and awards: 
As an undergrad at Warnell I spent all of my summers as a technician for Dr. Peterson’s lab doing sturgeon research, I was also heavily involved in the student chapter of AFS and spent a year as a student ambassador. As a master’s student, I’ve assumed the president position in the UGA AFS chapter and with the assistance of my other officers, held an extremely successful fish fry fundraiser last October. I have also been assigned two teaching assistantships, fish physiology this past fall and wetland management currently. So far this semester I’ve won some conference presentation awards on a state and regional level for the work I am doing, with help from other Warnell students and professors, focusing on Tripletail in Georgia and Florida. 
Note: Alex won best student paper at the Southern Division AFS Conference and also won runner-up for best paper at the Georgia-Alabama AFS Conference with his paper titled, “Seasonal Movements and Annual Mortality Rates of Tripletail Lobotes surinamensis in the Southeast"  

I chose to attend Warnell because...
Growing up I spent quite a bit of time in the outdoors, more specifically I loved to spend time on the water fishing with my family and friends. When it came time to decide what I wanted to study in college, I had no idea what I wanted to do. As soon as I saw “fisheries” on the application I knew it was the perfect major for me. I’ve loved every minute of it, Warnell is a special place. 

My favorite part of UGA 
-
owned property is Whitehall Forest but if I had to pick somewhere on campus, it would have to be Sanford Stadium. I grew up going to games before I was a student at UGA and have missed few home games during my time in Athens. Thankfully I’ll have another year or two of student tickets before I graduate.

When I have free time, I like to…
FISH! Unfortunately, there are not many places to fish in Athens or the surrounding areas. I take every chance I can to go fishing, especially if it’s somewhere on the coast. Fresh sea trout tacos are the best. 

The best class I’ve taken in Warnell is…
It’s difficult to pick the best class I’ve taken within Warnell because I’ve enjoyed many of them. That being said, if I had to pick one that stands out as one of my favorites, it would probably be vertebrate natural history with Dr. Castleberry. It was a difficult class and took a lot of time to learn all the scientific names and specimen identification, but I had some great times in the lab studying late into the night. I met many of my best Warnell friends in that class. 

If money was not a consideration, I would love to...
guide fishing charters. I like inshore and offshore fishing and would enjoy a chance to share this passion with other people. I acquired my captain’s license last year as a back up plan to graduate school. One day I would still like to be a fishing guide.

After graduation, I hope to…
find a biologist position with either a state or federal agency. I would like to work with the management of coastal fishes in the southeast, either along the Atlantic or in the Gulf. Anywhere near the ocean works for me!

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