My name is Montana McLeod, I am a second year Environmental Studies student studying conservation biology and my spirit animal is a Buffalo, or whichever animal I become closely attached to at that point in time. Most of the work I involve myself in, results in working with animals and inevitably falling in love with each and every one. I value the way animals interact with their environment and learning about the conditions necessary for their survival. I am particularly fond of the marine ecosystem and studying how different marine animals interact, as there is still so much to learn. I've worked with sea turtles and am currently surveying for the gray whale migration. My experiences have opened my eyes to the vast and thriving life provided by the mysteries of the sea. My main goals for the upcoming years are to research the diversity of marine ecosystem and ways to alleviate the environmental burden we place on the marine life. I also hope to volunteer in Thailand at an elephant conservation facility before I venture into graduate school. Finally, I also hope to get a chameleon, soon. I have a beautiful Australian Sheppard back home with my family in Orange County, and I can only hope you will all someday meet him. He's extremely sweet and loves to cuddle with me or distract me when I'm doing homework by placing his paws on the keyboard. I'm interested in the artistic representation of interspecies collaboration as I have often learned the science of the way species depend on each other to provide a safe environment for themselves, but from watching and experiencing these animals firsthand, their value is placed on so much more than their place in ecosystem functions. I aspire to study their interactions and traits from a different perspective and to incorporate that in my future research.