Passion for wildlife earns SGSC student internship with DNR
Emily Knowles, an upcoming senior at South Georgia State College (SGSC), is using her summer to gain valuable experience to benefit her in a future career. Emily will graduate from SGSC in May of 2020 with a Bachelor of Science in Biological Sciences degree and plans to continue her education to earn a master’s degree in wildlife biology.
Emily’s hometown is Alamo, where she grew up with her parents, Dean and Julie Selph, along with an older sister, Sarah Jones, a registered nurse. “My family has been very supportive of me in my educational goals,” she said. “They’ve always told me I can do anything as long as I put in the work to get there. They are very proud of me.” After she married Kaleb Knowles, they moved to Milan. She explained, “Kaleb continues with the support my family has given me over the years. He is so happy that I am pursuing a degree so I can do what I love.”
The support has continued at SGSC. Dr. Rosa Guedes, associate professor of biology/ecology, and Dr. Julie Havens, assistant professor of biology, told Emily about an internship with the Wildlife Resources Division of the Department of Natural Resources. “They went above and beyond to help me secure this internship. Not only did they tell me about it, but Dr. Guedes also held a mock interview to prepare me when applying,” Emily stated.
As part of the internship, she will specifically be working on the Satilla River Flathead Catfish Removal Project. Through research, it has been found the flathead catfish is an invasive species that has caused damage to native fish species. The goal of this project is for the removal of the flathead catfish from the Satilla River in areas of Georgia.
“This internship will help me gain valuable experience in working with wildlife and understanding how certain species can either be harmful or helpful in specific ecosystems,” explained Emily. “I would like to work with the Department of Natural Resources in the future on other wildlife projects, so I feel very blessed to have this amazing learning opportunity. I can't wait to see where it will take me.”