Valeria Guerrero came for an enriching and productive six-week internship in the MabLab in June 2018. Her work was to do an exhaustive literature search on raccoons to update the Raccoon Ecology Database from 2005 till 2018. Working on the raccoon literature review helped put into perspective how much research can revolve around an organism. When the focus shifted towards the study of home ranges, she needed to organize all the information given in the papers so that it could be easily accessible. One of the most rewarding aspects of this internship was meeting great people in the field of work and study she is entering. Her work was essential in preparing the raccoon poster for the 2018 annual meeting of the Ecological Society of America in New Orleans, LA.
Before that, Valeria worked with the Alachua Conservation Trust as a natural resource management intern. It was very labor intensive, but she learned about how to maintain land for the benefit of wildlife and human recreation. She also learned how to operate heavy machinery, like a chain saw to create fire lines in areas where forest met private lands.
Valeria attended Broward College for her Associates degree and would often pass by the Ft. Lauderdale Research and Education Center with curiosity. During her time in South Florida, she caught up with friends and family and was able to visit her favorite spot, Fairchild Botanical Gardens.
Valeria will graduate from the University of Florida in the upcoming semester with a bachelor’s degree in Wildlife Ecology and Conservation. Until she graduates, she plans to participate in the birding club Gators Ready for Exceptional Birding Experiences (GREBE) and a new group that is being created called R-Ladies.