Kudos to Dr Hauge
Thank you, Dr. Hauge. I first met J. Brian Hauge in 2003 when he was a professor at Penn State. I was a student and saw a Field Biology course that was being offered, so I decided to go for it, and it was probably one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. The instructor for that course turned out to be Dr. Hauge. During the first few meetings for the course I realized that Dr. Hauge was no ordinary instructor. He truly cared about the organisms and ecosystems he was studying, and he wanted to convey that passion onto his students.
The main part of the course involved a field trip to Florida where we would take part in a mark-recapture turtle monitoring project. It was during this trip that Dr. Hauge’s teaching style really became apparent. He is truly a field biologist and loves teaching students’ hands-on techniques outside while performing that very fieldwork. I remember being in awe of the way he handled, marked, measured, and captured turtles. I learned so much from him on this trip that I will never be able to say how great of an experience it was.
As great of a field biologist he is, he may be an even better person. In the evenings we would all cook and eat dinner, then sit around the campfire telling stories, jokes, and singing songs, because of course Dr. Hauge is also an amazing guitar player.
In more ways than one, this course really changed my life. Through this course, I made many lifelong friends, and met my amazing wife. The course would later go on to form the initial field project of the Turtle Survival Alliance – North American Freshwater Turtle Research Group, of which Dr. Hauge is a co-founder. I really can’t thank him enough for everything he showed and taught me. Meeting Dr. Hauge and now calling him a friend is something I am truly grateful for.