Sophomore geology major Matt McMahon is an editor for Explorations: The Texas A&M Undergraduate Journal and a competitive archer. Matt is also interested in addressing environmental health and safety issues and plans to apply for the Udall Foundation scholarship to help aid in this career path. Last summer, Matt went to Belize for study abroad and research, and documented some of his experiences as “environeer” for the Study Abroad blog. Here’s a taste:
Growing up in Northern Illinois, one of the last things that I’ve grown accustomed to is the ocean. I can literally count on my hand how many times I’ve been in the ocean before coming to Belize. For that reason, I have been amazed at what I’ve found here while doing my research. The project that I am currently working on completing is based on the red lionfish, Pterois volitans, which is an invasive species in the Caribbean. Just like the asian carp in the Mississippi River, the lionfish populations are growing quickly and causing major problems. Through the research that I’ve done so far to find and analyze the lionfish here in Port Honduras, I’ve had wonderful experiences underwater, and I’ve grown accustomed to SCUBA with practice.