The Culver Conservation Genetic Lab believes in mentoring students of all backgrounds and ages (from high school through grad-school). The value of mentoring cannot be overstated as a good mentor mentee relationship can build students’ career path and inspire future leaders. Our lab (Melanie and her many graduate students) has served as a mentor to over 40 interns, undergraduate students, rotation students, high school students over the past 18 years, which is an average of more than two per year.
The Culver Conservation Genetics Lab participates in many outreach events, for public and scientists of all ages. We have been to elementary schools, to the National Park BioBlitz, to Tucson Festival of Books, to Earth Day, the Heritage Days, to Discovery Day, Career Day, always willing to share what we know about biodiversity. The common theme is we educate the public first on desert wildlife and camera trapping, then on how genetics can help answer management related questions about these fascinating animals. Noninvasive methods like poo and saliva factor in big with our research and we try to relay that to the public.