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Undergraduate Student

Samantha Hannabass

Wildlife Conservation

Expected Graduation Date: May 2016

  • Minor: Forestry

As a kid, I always loved being outside and seeing animals. I immediately loved every animal I saw; I almost seemed to attract them. When I found out I would be moving from a crowded city to a house surrounded by trees when I was eight, I was ecstatic. My brother and I, along with some of the neighborhood kids, would spend our evenings after school and our summer days exploring the woods behind my house and “falling” into the creek after our parents told us not to get wet. We explored every corner of our set boundaries. We even went fishing for the tiny fish in the creek. All of these experiences were just a normal part of life for me. When I was younger, I thought I would be doing stuff like that my whole life. As I got older, I thought I would like to go into an engineering field and started out in that program at Virginia Tech. I didn’t even make it half a semester before I realized I would hate not being outside almost every day! This led me to wildlife conservation and a field in natural resources.

Since deciding to change from an engineering course to a natural resources one, I have come to love my time at Virginia Tech. I have since added a minor in forestry and keep finding more topics in natural resources that interest me. Every semester filled with natural resource classes is the best semester. Working on the Belize Jaguar Project, being involved in the Wildlife Society, and volunteering at the Black Bear Research Center have made it so I have little free time, which is just how I like it!

One of my main goals for the future is to work with sea turtle conservation. Since people are one of the biggest issues when it comes to sea turtle conservation, being part of the Leadership Institute cohort will hopefully allow me to better handle these issues. What I learn in the Leadership Institute about working with others will also hopefully give me the competitive edge I need to get into the field in the first place.

Honors and Awards

  • Dean’s International Study Abroad Scholarship, 2014
  • E. Price Ripley Memorial Foundation Fund Scholarship, 2012-13
  • Pamplin Leadership Award, 2012-13
  • Dean’s List, spring 2013-fall 2013

25th Anniversary

Celebrating 25 Years

    1992 through 2017, 25 years

Join us Sept. 15-16 to visit campus and reconnect with alumni, faculty, staff, and friends.

Celebrate with Us

Read the Summer Newsmagazine

    CNRE Newsmagazine Spring 2017


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We have 11 majors for you to choose from with over 10 options to specialize in. Select yours now and join us in bringing the future to nature.