- By Shari Halik
Growing up, Boyd developed a lifelong passion for aquatic and marine environments. Prior to arriving at UVM, he had the opportunity to study coral reef environments in Hawaii and leatherback sea turtle nesting in Trinidad. He was attracted to RSENR based upon the multi-faceted programs, the fieldwork orientation of many courses, and the sense of community within a larger university. A Natural Resources major, Boyd ultimately added Wildlife and Fisheries Biology as a second major. By graduation, he thinks that he probably took every aquatic or marine focused course offered at RSENR, although Boyd is quick to point out that he was equally passionate about several forestry and terrestrial wildlife courses.
When not in the classroom or the lab, Boyd was looking for hands-on opportunities to augment his academic training. During the school year, he served as an intern-volunteer at ECHO Lake Aquarium and Science Center in the animal care department. There, his duties extended from medicating animals to educational presentations. However, Boyd’s culminating extracurricular experience came during the summer of 2011 when he was accepted as a research intern at the Mote Marine Laboratory on Florida’s Gulf Coast where he participated in the prestigious Sarasota Dolphin Research Program, the world’s longest running study of a dolphin population. At Mote, Boyd’s activities included focal studies of dolphins in the wild and a survey of prey populations using purse seining or netting. In the process, he even received his Florida boating safety certificate.
Post graduation, Boyd is pursuing a Master’s of Environmental Management degree at Duke University. In conjunction with his Coastal Environmental Management concentration, he will spend his second year in residence at the Duke University Marine Laboratory just south of the Outer Banks and Cape Lookout. Ultimately, Boyd hopes to pursue a career in marine conservation and related public outreach.