Brooklyn Snyder is an undergraduate research intern with the ISU Monarch Research Team. Snyder, a native of Ankeny, Iowa, recently spent a semester studying in Hawaii. She is an active member of ISU Yoga Club where she currently holds the position of president. She is also a Global Resource Systems Ambassador and a member of The Green Umbrella.
What did you enjoy the most about growing up in Iowa? The best thing about growing up in the Midwest is the serene lifestyle. With endless stretches of corn, soybeans, windmills, and not many large attractions, you learn to both appreciate and adore the simple things life has to offer.
Why did you choose Iowa State for college? I chose Iowa State for its Global Resource Systems Program. The only one like it in the nation, I found it incredible that such an amazing program could be offered at a university so close to home.
What's the most useful thing you've learned as a student? As a student here at Iowa State, I have come to understand the importance of believing in yourself and never second guessing your capabilities. Opportunities will come and they will go if you don’t take advantage of them, but you have to have the confidence to say you can do it.
Why did you choose Global Resource Systems and Animal Ecology for your majors? I chose Global Resource Systems (GRS) and Animal Ecology because together they encompass everything I want to embody. I believe humans have a responsibility in taking care of this Earth, and that's my mission. Both majors also give me unique opportunities. Summer of 2018, I got the opportunity to go to Uganda and co-lead a binational beekeeping club comprised of secondary school pupils, teach agriculture for primary school pupils, and work with local farmers. Throughout the year of 2018, I worked with the ISU STRIPs project on bees research and explored marine biology in the spring semester of 2019 while at the University of Hawaii at Hilo.
Why are you interested in the monarch butterfly and native plants? I have always had a love of insects and plants. My appreciation has grown for native Iowan habitat -- short and tall grass prairie -- and I want to work to restore the diverse ecosystem that prairies support.
Describe your internship experience with the monarch team: My internship with the monarch team is unique in the sense that every day is different! Whether I am assigned to help out on with local events, help in the lab, enter data, or plant milkweed, every morning I wake up not quite sure what I am going to do; I love the variety.
What's the most useful thing you’ve learned as an intern? I have come to understand more about CRP practices for pollinators. This is very beneficial knowledge when conversing with local farmers who are curious about how to increase pollinator habitat.
How do you hope to apply what you have learned in the future? I can apply what I have learned here working with the monarch team in the future no matter if I continue to have my career follow the same direction or not. There will always be a dependence on pollinators no matter where I go in the world.
How can Iowa citizens help the monarch butterfly? Iowa citizens can help the monarch population by planting critical habit: native milkweed! Whether you have a small plot or a large field, anything is helpful when it comes to combating habitat degradation.