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Suzi Serengeti (by Suzi)

Suzi SerengetiI've always loved being outside, and I've always been a tomboy, even if I wasn't crazy about bugs. I grew up in an area of the country without scenic views or dramatic landscapes- good 'ole Ohio. My formative years were spent developing my communication skills talking on the phone (for hours) with ladies from my all girls high school, none of whom were really into the great outdoors. So I never spent much time hiking or backpacking with friends. In college all of that seemed to change.

I started my collegiate career in the south, but found myself back in Ohio finishing a bachelor's degree in Biology at the University of Dayton. The summer after my sophomore year I decided that it was time to be responsible and get some valuable work experience. My friends in Cincinnati all thought I was crazy to spend the summer working in Minnesota, but it turned out to be an experience that would change the trajectory of my entire life.

Suzi Serengeti

Field work, hippy chicks, and mosquitos are three words that come to mind when I think about that summer working at a Long Term Ecological Research Station north of the Twin Cities. I got really sunburned and learned to identify prairie plants, but most importantly, I became aware of a whole area of biology that was "unheard" of at my pre-med dominated program in college - ecology! A domino effect was created and suddenly new, exciting opportunities seemed to follow one after another. I felt inspired to learn more and to take advantage of every opporutunity that was available to me. The wanderlust set in and before I knew it, this midwestern girl was landing in Guatemala City and couldn't say much more than 'hola'!

Suzi SerengetiI reforested hillsides in Guatemala, measured vines in Panama, made baskets in Malawi, and caught butterflies in Colorado- all in the name of biology and adventure! I met up with the Ecogeeks in 2006, and fell in love with their mission and their tendency to misspell words. Off camera, I'm working on my Ph.D., studying tropical forest ecology at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. My Spanish has improved (slightly), but most importantly I want to understand how tropical forest composition may change with global warming and elevated atmospheric carbon dioxide.

SuziSerengeti on BBC the world


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