We asked several CAHNRS Ambassadors, excellent students who love WSU and their college, to name their favorite professors. And now we’re featuring those nominated educators in this weekly series.
Today we’re showcasing Lisa Shipley, professor and wildlife ecologist in the School of the Environment. Here are her answers to a few questions:
How did you pick this as a career?
The reason I picked a career as a researcher and teacher in wildlife ecology is pretty simple. From the time I was a toddler, I have always loved animals and being outside. Although I read books and dreamed about wilderness adventures, I didn’t really believe a girl from a small rural town could ever live them. However, when I discovered at age 13 that wildlife ecology was a real profession, I was hooked for life. As I learned more about career options as a college student, I decided to focus on research because I wanted to create new knowledge that can be used to conserve wildlife and habitat.
What is your favorite thing about teaching college students?
My favorite part of teaching college students is creating opportunities for gaining practical, hands-on experience in wildlife ecology through labs, projects and field trips. I like how engaging students in these activities brings students of all academic abilities and backgrounds together, fires their enthusiasm and prepares them for the real world. Academic advising is also one of my passions. I enjoy working with students one-on-one, helping them puzzle together their academic plans to meet their personal and career goals.
Why do you love what you do?
I love what I do because of its variety and challenge. Every day is different. Just think about it—one day I’m interacting wild animals in remote landscapes, the next I’m creating statistical models to explain their behavior and physiology, and the next I’m communicating this work all over the world. And, I get to take my students with me—both literally and virtually through classroom activities. I like to accomplish things and there is always PLENTY to do as a university professor!
If you could provide any tips or advice for your students, or WSU students in general, what would they be?
This sounds cliché, but my best advice for any student of any age is to find a passion or goal and work really hard to achieve it. Be your own advocate, but seek out mentors. Even if you are shy like me, reach out and connect where you can.