Lauren Cameron’s passion for water conservation is second only to his unwavering commitment to family responsibilities. With little free time, Lauren has managed to be on the dean’s list in the Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources, while working two jobs to help support his mother and siblings back home in Moultrie.
Colquitt County High School
B.S. in Forest Resources. My major is water and soil resources
University highlights, achievements, awards and scholarships:
Coming from a small town, my first year here was very overwhelming. There were just so many options and a seemingly infinite number of people to meet. My only real goal was to get a degree related to environmental science. Like most students, I have changed my major a few times, and I have managed to find the program most suited for me. However, taking classes is not my sole responsibility. Not even close. I have had to work multiple jobs to pay for college and help support my disabled mother and younger siblings. I have many responsibilities, and I have done my best to set a proper example for my brothers.
I am now a senior and I have managed to find more direction in my studies. I now have more plans than simply get an environmental degree and a job. I have truly developed a passion for natural resource management, and I hope to work with water conservation and quality issues. I also have mastered effective time management skills—from balancing work, school and family issues for three years. I now look forward to graduation and graduate school.
Despite being extremely busy with my jobs, I recently made dean’s list and received the Wyatt Memorial Forestry and Natural Resources Scholarship. Currently, I am interning in North Carolina. I am a part of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration funded Bird’s Eye View of Climate Change program in which we study the effects of climate change on ecosystems.
I work two jobs. I drive buses for campus transit, and I tutor underprivileged children in the Athens area, generally in math. People think I am crazy for working so much, but I have bills to pay and my mother is disabled, so I do my best to help out my family. It is not really a choice, but I have managed to find a couple of great jobs that both challenge me and pay the bills.
Family Ties to UGA:
My whole family is from Indiana. I am the first in my family to attend a southern college.
I chose to attend UGA because…
First of all, UGA is one of the best colleges in Georgia and the campus is beautiful. One of the biggest things that drew me to this university is the plethora of research opportunities available both here and abroad.
My favorite things to do on campus are…
I love visiting the State Botanical Garden of Georgia and Whitehall Forest. They are both a testament to natures ability to rebound from human disturbance. Its amazing to me that both of those places used to be massive cotton farms. They are now both very beautiful places to visit, and most people would never realize that farming occurred many years ago in these locales.
When I have free time, I like…
I generally do not have too much free time because of work. However, when I do, I like to practice mixed martial arts, ride my motorcycle, cook and spend time with friends.
The craziest thing I've done is…
During my freshman year, a couple friends and I built an eight-feet tall anatomically correct snowman in the middle of Myers quad.
My favorite place to study is…
in Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources. Since I am a Warnell student, I have 24-hour access to the student lounge, computer labs and some of the rooms in the school. They make great places to study for exams, especially when your roommates want to party and the MLC is packed.
My favorite professor is…
There are too many amazing professors in Warnell to really select one. I can narrow it down to two. Dr. Rhett Jackson and Dr. Bradley Miller. Professor Jackson’s class is fun and all of the lab trips we go on are very interesting. Professor Miller is just hilarious. I am definitely going to be taking more of their classes in the next couple of semesters.
If I could share an afternoon with anyone, I would love to share it with…
Everyone likes to know where they came from. Considering that I have never met my father, I would meet him.
If I knew I could not fail, I would…
I would travel around the world and work on water conservation projects worldwide. There are so many issues with complicated circumstances and huge implications. Several lifetimes would not be enough to address them all.
If money was not a consideration, I would love to…
travel. I would go everywhere! I have never been able to really travel, because I do not come from a well off family, but I really want to visit our national parks, the Grand Canyon and pretty much every country.
After graduation, I plan to…
either earn my master’s degree here at UGA or start working in my career. I am looking at such government programs as the Environmental Protection Division, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Natural Resources Conservation Service or the Georgia Soil and Water Conservation Commission for internship/employment possibilities. I am leaning more towards graduate school right now. I am thinking of getting my master’s degree in ecotoxicology or water resources.
The one UGA experience I will always remember will be…
I’ll never forget when I looked at the campus map for the first time. I thought I would never find my way.