he/him | Jack is a second-year Ph.D. student in the Conservation Sciences Graduate Program working in Joseph Bump’s lab. His research focuses on the impacts of wolves, cougars, bears, and humans on elk population dynamics in Yellowstone. He is more broadly interested in how predators interact with each other and their prey to structure ecosystems. As a first-generation college student who spent years educating the public about Yellowstone’s wildlife, Jack has seen first-hand the importance of effective science communication. While he’s still terrified of public speaking, Jack’s grown to love communicating science, especially by talking with school groups. In his free time, Jack likes to cook, go rock climbing and fly fishing, and explore with his fiancé and two dogs.
At 4:30 in the morning, my tiny computer screen and office space radiated light in an otherwise dark Yellowstone wilderness. Normally at this hour, I would be walking around like a zombie getting ready to watch wolves, or maybe sleeping in my cozy bed if it was a desk day. But today is different. Today, I’m wired.
I reached the first clearing in over a mile, and by clearing, I mean I could stretch my arms out without hitting any tree branches. The forest was steep and filled with claustrophobically thick pine and downed trees. I still heard the others bushwhacking, so I waited for them to catch up.