by Marielle Payton, Student Public Relations Writer
Abby Gosselink, junior environmental science major from Otley, Iowa, took “field experience” to a whole new level, as she spent her summer studying wildlife, the ecosystem and wetland preservation at Au Sable Institute of Environmental Studies in Mancelona, Michigan.
Gosselink was awarded a $3,000 scholarship to Au Sable, an environmental field school and research facility that partners with Cedarville University and other Christian universities. Professors from Cedarville and other partnering schools teach various classes at the institute throughout the summer, and in return Au Sable offers numerous scholarships to students from those schools.
Cedarville is one of 50 Christian universities partnering with Au Sable Institute.
As a Cedarville student, Gosselink qualified to receive the $3,000 scholarship to attend the Institute. Her father, a wildlife biologist, attended Au Sable during his college years, and as a second-generation student at the institute, Gosselink found the experience rewarding in every way.
Gosselink earned 16 credit hours while at the institute. While most students only study at Au Sable for one session during the summer, thanks to the scholarship, Gosselink was able to take an entire semester’s worth of coursework and graduate from Cedarville one semester early.
From 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Gosselink and her fellow students studied wildlife outdoors, observed the ecosystem and learned about the environment. The students tested water with chemistry kits, learning to identify certain subspecies of plants. Under guided supervision, they studied soil composition of the field as the season changed from summer to early fall. Staying at the institute also helped her build long-term relationships with the faculty and staff.
“I have a focus on wildlife with my degree,” Gosselink said. “At Au Sable, I was able to study plant identification and learn over 150 plants in just three weeks. I feel so much more prepared for my career after this experience.”
While at Au Sable, Gosselink earned a wetland delineation certificate through the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, a credential that will serve her well in a future environmental science career. Through specific, hands-on classes like field biology, field botany and field techniques in wetlands, she learned invaluable skills.Located in southwest Ohio, Cedarville University is an accredited, Christ-centered, Baptist institution with an enrollment of 5,082 undergraduate, graduate, and dual-enrolled high school students in more than 175 areas of study. Founded in 1887, Cedarville is one of the largest private universities in Ohio, recognized nationally for its authentic Christian community, rigorous academic programs, high graduation and retention rates, accredited professional and health science offerings, and the #4 national ranking by the Wall Street Journal for student engagement. For more information about the University, visit cedarville.edu.