We're at the 6-week mark of the Spring 2022 semester and it's gone very well. Classes are still in-person, a few of our Geography classes have taken field trips, and we even had a class present their field trip research work at an exhibit in the EESAT atrium! Before we move onto a new month, we'd like to present our February 2022 student spotlight, Zach Tabor.
Zach is currently a second-year graduate student in the Geography Department and is one of our Teaching Assistants for Geology and for Culture, Environment, and Society (GEOG 2170). He studies with Dr. Matthew Fry and has been doing thesis research on how the commodification of hunting in Texas affects the hunting and management of deer and feral hogs. Zach is an outstanding student and researcher - he tied for first place in the 2020 Virtual SWAAG Meeting graduate student poster competition, received the 2021 CAPE Field Study Award (usually awarded to PhD students), and won second place in the 2021 SWAAG Fall Meeting graduate student paper competition.
Geography seemed a natural choice of study for Zach, as he grew up hunting, fishing, and camping with his family and friends - activities that made him love the outdoors and want to help contribute to its conservation. Zach received his bachelor's degree in Geography here at UNT and he made the decision to continue on with our department for his graduate studies. He was drawn to our program because he found that the Geography classes were interesting and because of the professors and students here ("cool people" according to Zach!).
During his studies in the Geography Department, Zach's learned that it's important to follow your passion and to listen to the guidance and good advice of those who know more than you. To him, the best part about being a graduate student at UNT is the friendships - his friends here have made it an awesome place to be a student. Zach also feels that the department is a great environment for following his passion and for growing as a researcher. As his time at UNT is slowly coming to a close, he's been thinking about what he will do next once he receives his master's degree. For now, Zach hopes to head out west and work with a state or federal agency to contribute to the conservation of our public lands and wildlife.
Here's a fun fact about Zach - he rides a motorcycle to campus almost every day! And because of his love of the outdoors, he recommends Lake Ray Roberts as a "hidden gem" in the area. He thinks that lake is a bit underappreciated. It's only 20 minutes away from Denton, and all around the lake there are great places to get outdoors, hunt, fish, and pick blackberries.