In addition to studying bullheaded catfish and climate change, Devin Moore was able to travel to Wisconsin to intern at the National Park Service in Wisconsin.
Moore, an environmental sciences major from Washington, Illinois, said his internship at the National Park Service included working in the interpretation division and helping visitors. He said the park contained a river that divided Minnesota and Wisconsin and they would get to go on the St. Croix river.
“About once a week or every other week, we would actually get kayaks and we would kayak at a certain section of river just to meet and interact with people,” Moore said.
Moore said his favorite part of his experience at the National Park Service was interacting with the other rangers and being able to work outside. He said the rangers sometimes did educational programs for schools where they would show them different insects they collected.
“We would just introduce them to all the different insects and invertebrates that live in the river and live in the lakes and streams and ponds and stuff to try and show them there's more than just a fish in the rivers,” Moore said.
Department Chair of Environmental Studies Nicholas Guehlstorf said Moore’s engagement and participation is what made him stand out from other students.
“I think oftentimes, his environmental activism drives a lot of his studies and I think that helps the whole classroom, it changes the learning environment because not everyone has the same passion for the environment,” Guehlstorf said.
Moore said he was drawn to environmental sciences because he finds the effect humans have on the environment to be interesting. He said he enjoys the hands-on experience where he gets the opportunity to move around outside.
Guehlsotrf said Moore shows interest in natural resource management including water-stressed areas in the country, loss of forest land and more.
“It's that combination of, you know, a really good intellect and an overwhelming amount of passion that he has that I think just makes for a really good sort of combination of a student and one that can actually provide for a work environment,” Guehlstorf said.
Moore has been working on a research paper about the public trust doctrine and how it can be applied to climate change.
“I’m looking at how we can use the government's obligation to defend natural resources for the public to try and mitigate the effects of climate change,” Moore said.
Moore is also working on a research project about morphology in Bullhead catfish to see if there's some relationship between the change in the way their bodies are shaped to wider heads and more protruded skull and jaw and changes in diet.
“Currently, we've actually seen that there is really no morphological change in the Bullheads,” Moore said. “As they grow, they stay the same proportions throughout their entire lifespan. That's also interesting, because then their diets just completely depend on their length and size.”
Moore said the study involved stretching the bullhead catfish onto a table using dowel rods to get them as straight as possible to take measurements. He said he had to extract the intestines and stomach to look for identifiable contents like invertebrates, fish bones or fish flesh.
“It was a lot of hours of standing around taking pictures of fish and then extracting,” Moore said.