Courtney Weldon, a graduate student researcher at the Illinois Natural History Survey (INHS) learned to appreciate lakes and rivers growing up with her father and grandfather. Now, she's working with her advisor, Great Rivers Field Station director John Chick to protect the Mississippi River ecosystem and its fish species for generations to come.
What did you want to be when you grew up?
I was obsessed with dinosaurs when I was really young, and my dream job was to be a paleontologist.
What drew you to your current field of study?
I grew up fishing with my grandfather and father which taught me an appreciation for our lakes and rivers. During my undergrads at Central Michigan University, I volunteered in Dr. Kevin Pangle’s lab under one of his graduate students working on juvenile rainbow trout and never looked back.
What do you love about your work at PRI?
I love learning and working with my co-workers and their willingness to share the knowledge that they have gained working in my field. I also really enjoy the field and lab work that makes up a lot of our job.
How will your work impact future generations?
My work will impact future generations by providing additional knowledge about the way small fish communities respond to changes in the river environment. Through this knowledge, I hope that we can further protect the Mississippi River ecosystem, and its fish species, so that future generations will get to enjoy everything that the river provides us, both in resources and recreation.