Beth Ogata is a PhD student in Ecology. In her free time, she loves to get outdoors. She says that Utah is a wonderful “playground”, as there is so much to do outdoors. She also loves to spend time with her family and playing with her daughter. She came to USU after earning her Bachelor’s degree and gaining experience in her field. She realized that she wanted to get more involved in research in her field after meeting her current mentor Dr. Michelle Baker.
Beth’s research focuses on how humans impact stream biofilms, that slippery surface on river rocks. She studies how these microbial communities are affected by nutrient pollution and pharmaceutical pollution. Beth was also involved in the Native American Summer Mentorship Program (NASMP) while at USU. Beth explains that the program “Aims to bring students from the USU Blanding campus up to the Logan campus to have research experiences with different faculty in a variety of STEM disciplines. Introduce them to hands-on lab experience.” This program shows these different options for majors and careers, and encourages them to pursue 4 year degrees.
Her advice to future graduate students is to “definitely attend USU!”. There is a lot to learn and many people to learn and grow from. Beth is currently in the final stages of her PhD and is working at the Learning Strategies Center at Cornell University.