Student Research Profile: Caroline Hogan

Here at PUC, biology students have countless opportunities to get involved with research, oftentimes working alongside professors on projects. Programs are specially curated to not only prepare students academically but also to equip them with real-world experience for success in future endeavors.

Here’s one student’s experience and how they feel PUC helped prepare them.

Who are you?

I am Caroline Hogan, and I am a junior environmental studies major. I plan to go into the Navy or to get my master’s degree in forestry and ecology.

What did you do?

I did an internship involving the study on the impact the October 2017 fires had on the plant and tree growth on my burned property. The mission was to count and record the impact the Nuns Fire had on the property and to see if any of the trees like oak and Douglas-fir were able to recover from being burned as well as the degree of life that the survivors had.

When and where did you do this work?

My research internship was for eight months on my property in Sonoma Valley in Sonoma County.

What did you learn?

There were so many things I learned when doing this research project I never knew were not in the norm for an internship. Much of the work was in the field and involved a lot of hiking and charting down every single individual tree and shrub inhabited the heavily wooded five-acre property. I learned how to chart and map the trees and plants properly, how to identify them in their burnt state. I also learned how to write up a report on the trees for the insurance company and client. As well as how to deal with a client professionally and how to work with multiple different people, agencies, insurance agents, and lawyers.

How did your experience at PUC help prepare you for this experience?

I am an environmental studies major, so the class Natural History of California helped prepare me to identify the plants and trees that were difficult to identify due to their burnt state. Intro to GIS as well helped me immensely because I learned how to properly use a GPS to map out the entire property and every individual tree. Professor Wyrick also helped me with her knowledge of the native plants of California and how to identify them and gave me tips on how to determine what they were when they were unrecognizable.

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