Students never know which aspect of their college career will catapult them to their professions after graduation. In the case of Daniel Greene ’04, serving as a teaching assistant to John Iverson (biology) and volunteering at Wildman Woods were catalysts to his current Ph.D. studies at the University of Florida.
With Iverson’s encouragement, the biology major began work at Earlham’s Joseph Moore Museum (JMM), gaining a variety of experiences that would later transfer to his employment and graduate research.
“Specimen prep was certainly my most memorable experience, and something I now wish I had spent more time doing,” the Greenville, Ohio native recalls. “Molding an animal into a realistic representation of what it’s supposed to look like (usually requiring a few practice squirrels/birds before one can successfully complete this task), and putting it into museum collections where it will remain for hundreds of years to be used for education, DNA preservation, and as a representative of animal diversity is quite powerful.”
At the JMM, Greene served as live-animal curator and worked in the collections. He was exposed to the diversity of wildlife, and his interest in pursuing a career in wildlife biology was solidified.
Experience with ecosystem restoration and invasive plant management tasks at Wildman Woods enabled Greene to secure a position as an environmental specialist after graduation from Earlham. (Relocating to the Florida Keys wasn’t a bad deal, either!) During his two years in that role, he drew upon his undergraduate experience and knowledge gained by working closely with Iverson and fellow biology professors Brent Smith and Gary Breitenbach.
After earning a master’s degree from the University of Georgia, he relocated to Panama City, Florida, where he spent four years as a wildlife biologist working primarily with Florida’s endangered mammals.
Greene credits Bill Buskirk (biology) for giving him an appreciation of birds, both living representatives and museum specimens, which remains Greene’s most enjoyable hobby. He also lauds Iverson as “the most influential person in shaping my career, past and present”. He feels fortunate that he and so many other Earlham students had Iverson as an advisor, friend and colleague as their careers took shape.
Daniel Greene 2004, Doctoral student at the University of Florida
M.S., University of Georgia; B.A. Earlham College
Hometown: Gainesville, Fla.
Major at Earlham: Biology