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Emily Hughes wins the R. Locandro Award for Outstanding Student in Natural Resources

Emily Hughes

Although I was born in the mountains of New Hampshire, I consider New Jersey my home state. I grew up in northern New Jersey surrounded by suburbia, but also by amazing local parks that allowed me to explore and learn about the world around me. I was always eager to learn more about topics surrounding the environment in high school but didn’t know what field specifically to study in college. After soon arriving at Rutgers, I met several upperclassmen in the EENR program that inspired me to study ecology, as all of the courses seemed like disciplines I would like to study in greater depth by also going on lots of outdoor field trips. The choice of coming to Rutgers was a no-brainer, and I knew that the research and hands-on work I would be doing here would be unparalleled. I also minored in Sustainability and Korean, which has helped broaden my studies as well.

As I near the end of my college career, I look back on all of the amazing courses I have taken, and how much I have truly learned in four short years. From learning over one hundred trees in Dendrology to how to delineate a wetland in Wetland Ecology, I have learned a great deal from my amazing professors. After taking Plant Diversity and Evolution and helping to curate the Chrysler Herbarium, I discovered my love of plants and the broader field of botany. I hope to extend what I have learned to future endeavors and broaden my horizons by learning more about plants.

I will be starting a full-time position with the Missouri Botanical Garden in St. Louis as a Data Processing Intern in July. I will be working alongside the world leaders in plant and botanical research by helping to curate the second-largest (or first-largest, depending on who you ask) herbarium in North America. Eventually, I would like to attend graduate school to study more about botany as well. I am certain that what I have learned here at Rutgers will take me far in life, and I am grateful to my professors for their invaluable guidance and support.

May 2022