Tomas Pickering | 2016 Fulbright Research Grant | Kenya
Tomas Pickering first became interested in ecology at a young age. Growing up in Georgia, he liked to chase insects around his house. His love of the tropics began during his undergraduate days at the University of Georgia, where he majored in Biology and completed field studies in Malaysia, Panama, and Brazil. While there, he completed his undergraduate Honors thesis on the efficiency of capuchin monkeys using stone tools to crack open palm nuts in Brazil.
Upon graduation, Tomas worked as a naturalist guide in Costa Rica for 6 months and then served as a teacher assistant at an elementary school in Texas, before beginning Peace Corps in Malawi working in community based natural resource management. This was a life changing experience for Tomas; through it, he became interested in community development and agricultural practices.
Upon his return to the States, he spent a little over a year working on small farms in Massachusetts and Washington. He is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in CSU's Graduate Degree Program in Ecology under the direction of Robin Reid and Kathleen Galvin.
For his Fulbright experience, he plans to study community-based conservation in pastoralist communities in Kenya and how these efforts are changing livestock production and rangeland ecology to provide feedback on the costs and benefits for future innovation. He is honored and excited for the opportunity Fulbright has provided to conduct my research and act once again as an ambassador for the United States.