Club spotlight: Biology Club

Home Features Club spotlight: Biology Club
Club spotlight: Biology Club
Photo courtesy of Biology Club
Alan Patterson holds a wild cottonmouth snake (Agkistrodon piscivorus) at an outing to Caverns State Park in Marianna, Florida.

By Maria Del Aguila

Biology Club is for everyone— not just biology majors. It currently has over a dozen members who are involved in a wide range of activities from fundraisers to coastal cleanups to tours of scientific facilities.

Majors range from medicine, general studies, natural resource conservation and marine biology. “Everyone has an interest in biology in one form or another,” club president Robby Booles said.

“Seeing Steve Irwin on TV or Jack Hanna—That inspired me to do what I’m doing now,” he said. “I’m 29-years-old and chasing my childhood dream.”

This semester they will do more community outreach projects such as picking up trash at Bayview Park and Fort Pickens and cataloging it. With this information, they can research what type of trash is commonly found on the beaches by using the app Clean Swells.

The data collected will upload to Ocean Conservancy’s global ocean trash database. This provides researchers and policymakers information on how to solve the problem.

The club, which has traveled to St. Augustine and Vortex Springs, also organizes a camping trip every semester. They are planning a trip this semester to Seacrest Wolf Preserve where they will be listening to wolves howl during the night.

Booles said there is a hammerhead worm located here that preys on earthworms. He reported it to the Florida Wildlife Conservation Commission. “This is the furthest North they’ve ever found them, right in my front yard,” Booles said.

Booles will be the club president until the end of the 2018 Spring semester. He is also the lab technician at the Pensacola State College Planetarium.

Booles and the Biology Club restored the greenhouse on campus for future use.

The most successful fundraiser was hosting a bake sale in building 17 last February. They sold over $500 worth of baked goods.

Being a part of Biology Club is a great way to make new friends who share a common interest, receive career advice, and gain help with current science courses.

“It’s not a completely crazy idea to want to be a scientist or want to do something cool like that. You can do it,” Booles said.

Their monthly meetings take place on the 1st and 3rd Mondays of every month in building 21’s study hall (Rm1712) at 2 p.m.