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Featured Scholar: Teresa Cooper

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Featured Scholar: Teresa Cooper
Creator:
Watson, Sara
Place of Publication:
Gainesville, Fla.
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University of Florida
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Language:
English

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Journal of Undergraduate Research
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serial ( sobekcm )

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University of Florida
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University of Florida
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All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.

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lournmal of
Undergraduate
Research
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Featured Scholar:
Teresa Cooper

2001 - 2002 University Scholar
Mentor: Frank Howard





ull'y all .e Uiiie, vvMl-l r, Is SU yl'y M'e vvulld ind
studying life. My scholarly pursuits are definitely an
extension of my interests in getting to know the natural
world, and overlap with my enjoyment of the outdoors,"
she says. "When I go outside on my own time, I'm
always finding interesting fungi, plants and insects."

Teresa's major and work with the USP keeps her in the
environment she prefers. "I love being in the field, and I love being outside. It would be
hard for me to be inside all day long," she says. It works out well for her that UF is
located in an area rich with natural splendor. "I was born in Rhode Island, but I grew up
in a military family, so I've been everywhere. Gainesville is a great place to live if you
enjoy the outdoors. We've got nice weather, and nice springs and rivers. I really enjoy
canoeing and hiking. I know the Santa Fe River real well now. I like the Itchetucknee
Springs and the Suwanee River quite a bit. The Juniper Springs run is also a good one.
But I'm happy just being outside, lying in a field, or walking around looking for insects
and plants."

While conducting her research, Teresa has grown quite fond of her subjects. "The
bromeliads I work with are really nice plants. They live in the tops of trees, but they're
not parasitic at all. They get all of their nutrition from the rainwater that comes through.
They use their roots only for anchoring to trees," she says. "In fact, bromeliads hold a lot
of water in the axils of their leaves, and these pools of water support insect life and
provide water to smaller animals during the drier seasons. The plants are a very
important part of the ecosystem as well as just being aesthetically pleasing."

Teresa says she has been interested in the sciences for a long time. "When I first started
school, I was thinking about getting into chemistry or physics. As I went on, I started
whittling it down, going from more of the hard science aspect to biology. I became more
interested in that macro world, as opposed to the micro world that you deal with in
chemistry, physics or microbiology."

Before she became a USP participant, Teresa was a student working for the professor
who became her mentor. "Essentially, I was involved in research with Entomology and
Nematology Professor Howard Frank, who became my mentor. Somebody brought the
program to his attention, he showed it to me and we followed through on participating."
Teresa worked with Dr. Frank for a year before joining the program.

Teresa says being in the USP introduced her to wide variety of interesting research. "I
think any single academic endeavor always has the potential to cross over and affect
other fields, so it's always good to know what other people are working on and what
other people are thinking," she says. "Also, actually writing the paper and the
presentation was a very rewarding experience. I like putting my research into a practical
application. I would definitely recommend the program to other students. In fact, I
have'"

--top--


I UNIVERSITY of
U FLORIDA


Back to the Journal of Undergraduate Research
College of Liberal Arts and Sciences I University Scholars Program I University of Florida I


@ University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611; (352) 846-2032.




Full Text

PAGE 1

Entomology senior Teresa Cooper loves being outdoors. "What I do academically is very close to what I enjoy doing all the time, which is studying the world and studying life. My scholarly pursuits are definitely an extension of my interests in getting to know the natural world, and overlap with my enjoyment of the outdoors," she says. "When I go outside on my own time, I'm always finding interesting fungi, plants and insects." Teresa's major and work with the USP keeps her in the environment she prefers. "I love being in the field, and I love being outside. It would be hard for me to be inside all day long," she says. It works out well for her that UF is located in an area rich with natural splendor. "I was born in Rhode Island, but I grew up in a military family, so I've been everywhere. Gainesville is a great place to live if you enjoy the outdoors. We've got nice weather, and nice springs and rivers. I really enjoy canoeing and hiking. I know the Santa Fe River real well now. I like the Itchetucknee Springs and the Suwanee River quite a bit. The Juniper Springs run is also a good one. But I'm happy just being outside, lying in a field, or walking around looking for insects and plants." While conducting her research, Teresa has grown quite fond of her subjects. "The bromeliads I work with are really nice plants. They live in the tops of trees, but they're not parasitic at all. They get all of their nutrition from the rainwater that comes through. They use their roots only for anchoring to trees," she says. "In fact, bromeliads hold a lot of water in the axils of their leaves, and these pools of water support insect life and provide water to smaller animals during the drier seasons. The plants are a very important part of the ecosystem as well as just being aesthetically pleasing." Teresa says she has been interested in the sciences for a long time. "When I first started school, I was thinking about getting into chemistry or physics. As I went on, I started whittling it down, going from more of the hard science aspect to biology. I became more interested in that macro world, as opposed to the micro world that you deal with in chemistry, physics or microbiology." Before she became a USP participant, Teresa was a student working for the professor who became her mentor. "Essentially, I was involved in research with Entomology and Nematology Professor Howard Frank, who became my mentor. Somebody brought the program to his attention, he showed it to me and we followed through on participating." Teresa worked with Dr. Frank for a year before joining the program. Teresa says being in the USP introduced her to wide variety of interesting research. "I think any single academic endeavor always has the potential to cross over and affect other fields, so it's always good to know what other people are working on and what other people are thinking," she says. "Also, actually writing the paper and the presentation was a very rewarding experience. I like putting my research into a practical application. I would definitely recommend the program to other students. In fact, I have!" Back to the Journal of Undergraduate Research Volume 3, Issue 7 May 2002Contents Submissions Archives Scholar Profiles Future Contributions Contact & Staff University Scholars Program Undergraduate Research Resources Search: College of Liberal Arts and Sciences | University Scholars Program | University of Florida | University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611; (352) 846-2032. Featured Scholar: Teresa Cooper 2001 2002 University Scholar Mentor: Frank Howard College of Agricultute and Life Sciences --top--


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