ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE & ECOLOGY (MS)
Choose a job that you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life” is the mantra that drives Kyle Morton in his career.
As an undergraduate student at the University at Buffalo, Kyle Morton, from Little Valley, NY, studied various subjects. At the end of his second year, he found his calling and pursued a career path in environmental science.
When Kyle began looking for graduate programs, he learned about SUNY Brockport through word of mouth. It was the reputation of the environmental science and ecology graduate program that led him here. One of the features that attracted him to the program was the opportunity to conduct research alongside the faculty and his peers.
“Being able to work with faculty, peers, and collaborators on a (research) project that could answer specific questions and reveal further intricacies” was his most significant academic accomplishment while at Brockport, said Kyle.
The research was done through Professor Matthew Altenritter’s lab, which studies lake sturgeon (Acipenser fulvescens), a species of fish native to the Great Lakes basin and the target of intensive rehabilitation efforts. The individuals in the lab study the movements and migrations of this species within the Genesee River and Lake Ontario. Kyle led the research and collaborated with biologists at the US Fish and Wildlife Service and US Geological Survey. The team observed young lake sturgeon using the Genesee River as a nursery habitat and sometimes moving over 100 kilometers away to reach the Niagara or St. Lawrence Rivers. These observations highlight exciting future research avenues into the importance of habitat connectivity for lake sturgeon rehabilitation.
“The professors and resources that are within the department made learning and conducting research at Brockport an amazing experience,” he said.
The partnerships that Kyle built during his time as a graduate student allowed him to maintain strong relationships in his professional life. Currently, he is a biologist with the Native Species Program at the Lower Great Lakes Fish and Wildlife Conservation Office. The program works with partners to conserve and restore fish resources.
“Students interested in this field should always think about and strive to excel at what draws them into this field of study. Environmental science is diverse and offers many paths to success; following the path that you’re most passionate about will inherently foster happiness,” said Kyle.
The quote, “Choose a job that you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life,” speaks to Kyle and is what he follows in his career path.
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