Group photo of 2016 UF in Mérida and Universidad Autónoma de Yucatán students.

As a University of Florida online student, participating in the summer 2016 UF-sponsored study abroad program in Mérida, Mexico was one of the best decisions I made. It afforded me the opportunity to get back into the classroom setting I was missing and a chance to work in a field environment.

From bird mimicry to plant identification skills and providing fun facts about the natural environment we were immersed in, each weekend field trip exposed a new layer of you like a Russian doll. The experience was a turning point in my life. I was able to see new opportunities of where I could take my career as an educator in a scientific field. Now here I am at Mount Rainier National Park, a week away from the launch of Ranger Programs where I will deliver my own educational programs.

You are someone I aspire to be like. Your continued support has been invaluable. Without a doubt, you have been an amazing influence in my educational career. Thank you for your lasting impact, Mark (Dr. Brenner).

Dr. Brenner (center) among colleagues at a conservation organization in Mexico.

Dr. Brenner (center) among colleagues at a conservation organization in Mexico.

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