Involvement within the Auburn University College of Forestry, Wildlife and Environment student organizations provides opportunity for students to exercise leadership skills, build relationships with their classmates and foster community between students and professionals in the varying occupations associated with forestry, wildlife and natural resources. In his own words, learn how participation in student clubs has positively impacted Arthur Lamounier Moura’s experience at Auburn and his career potential after graduation:
Area of Study: Ph.D. Student in Forestry, Dr. Heather Alexander’s Forest and Fire Ecology Lab
Expected Graduation: Fall 2024
Involvement: Graduate Student Association
Why did you choose Auburn?
Auburn University and especially the College of Forestry, Wildlife and Environment, or CFWE, has a talented team of faculty members, infrastructure, opportunities and resources students need to conduct research and develop professionally. I feel incredibly grateful to have been selected by the College and by my advisor to study here.
What led you to choose this field of study?
I have been working in the field of ecology since 2014, after finishing an undergraduate internship in bioinformatics. Working today with areas such as forestry and forest and fire ecology allows me to contribute to the most urgent matters the world is going through, which are climate change and the impacts of non-sustainable development.
What is your favorite part about being a student in the College of Forestry, Wildlife and Environment?
Since I got here, about two years ago, I have felt that the whole college is integrated and that everyone is very collaborative, kind and ready to support the professional growth of students, their research, and preserve the mission of the university. This makes CFWE incredibly unique.
Describe a class that you have taken as a student of Forestry studies that has left an impact on you.
As a former high school teacher back in Brazil, I can say that Dr. Todd Steury’s class, Advanced Analysis for Ecological Sciences, not only helped me in the development of my research but also reinforced the belief I have in education and how transformative it can be when great teachers and professors are there to support and inspire students in their academic path.
What opportunities within the college have helped ensure your academic success?
The college consistently offers multiple opportunities for students (both undergraduate and graduate level), from workshops and symposiums, to career fairs, seminars and outreach initiatives. All of these helped me gain confidence in presenting my research, talking to people and networking with other researchers and students.
If you are involved in a student organization within the college, describe the group’s purpose and why being a member is important to you.
At the beginning of my second year at Auburn, I became the president of the CFWE Graduate Student Association, or GSA, an organization that traditionally had many outstanding officers who worked tirelessly to support students in their academic life and promoted the integration of students, faculty members and staff. When I became part of the GSA, I was able to contribute to this mission of our organization, continuing the essential job of making our student community feel more welcomed and supported as a group.
What are you doing right now as a student that is giving you supplemental experience in your desired field?
Currently, I am working on learning different software programs and a third language. I believe that this knowledge will aid in my ability to pursue different opportunities in the future, while I am improving my curriculum.
What are your plans after you graduate?
After graduation, I plan to pursue a position where I can be involved with education but combine that with research as well. Teaching became a particularly important part of my life when I finished my undergraduate degree, and it is something I want to continue in my career.
What are you passionate about? How does CFWE allow you to pursue those passions?
My main passions are nature and education. My advisor, Dr. Heather Alexander, and my colleagues at the Forest and Fire Ecology Lab are preparing me and supporting me every day to become a better researcher and educator so I can continue contributing to these areas.
What advice would you give to upcoming CFWE freshmen?
My main advice to upcoming students considering starting their academic life here would be: Be patient with yourself and with your development as a student. The beginning is hard, and it will make you anxious to see the results of your arduous work quickly. However, trusting the process is necessary and, to assist you in that, you will find an awesome group of people here to guide you and support you along this journey.
Interview is lightly edited for clarity.
(Written by Avanelle Elmore)