Creative community fundraising for attending a conference

01 November 2017 - By: Adison Adams and Wren Busby

Creative community fundraising for attending a conference

Adison Adams

By Adison Adams and Wren Busby

I am writing this on both Wren Busby’s and my behalf to relate a tale of two fish freaks, with a flare for fun and making friends – a tale of determination, powered by community, the love of learning, and science.

Our story is about how, with the support of our advisor, Dr. Ione Hunt von Herbing (UNT Associate Professor, Biological Sciences, & Director of the Marine Conservation and Aquatic Physiology Laboratory (MCAPL)) and the good folks at the Oakmont Country Club in Denton, TX, Wren and I were able to attend and present at the SEB meeting in Gothenburg in 2017.

It all started, a few years ago when I took an Ornithology course. In addition to developing a great appreciation for all things Aves, I began my friendship with Wren Busby. Wren is a PhD. student of Dr. Hunt von Herbing’s and took me under her proverbial wing. Dr. Hunt von Herbing invited me to work in her lab (MCAPL) as an undergraduate research assistant, after taking her Marine Biology and Ocean Sustainability course. Over the last two years I have learned about the effects of climate change on the oceans, which concerns me deeply, and helped Wren and other students in Dr. Hunt von Herbing’s laboratory to use scientific knowledge of developing new technologies (like probiotics) to foster a sustainable aquaculture industry, in order to conserve the fish in the sea.

But I wanted to do more…then during a typical day of research last December, as Wren and I walked through the halls of the UNT Life Sciences building, we saw a poster advertising the 2017 SEB Conference: A Scientific Smorgasbord. From there, an idea emerged and we hatched a plan to raise the money to send the pair of us overseas. Using my connections at Oakmont Country Club, my home course, we created a golf tournament to raise awareness for the pivotal research being conducted at UNT MCAPL while, raising funds needed for us to travel to Sweden. The club members and local community businesses came together – a force to be reckoned with. The day of the tournament was absolutely beautiful. A Texas Spring day filled with laughter and support for science. Music was enjoyed, and pints were definitely shared. It was truly a day that demonstrated the power of community in support of two students and their university, UNT. From this event and from the generosity of the members of Oakmont Country Club, we were able to raise the funds necessary to finance our journey to SEB 2017.

Attending the SEB conference was nothing short of extraordinary. It was an eye-opening experience that left both of us with a much deeper understanding of the vast biological research trail-blazed across the globe and the importance of scientific communication. Not only was the trip educational, but it also demonstrated that all things are possible through sheer determination, great science, and community involvement. The connections stemming from Gothenburg are truly life lasting, and emanate the spirit of the SEB. Change, a constant force in nature, can be redirected for the improvement of society, science, and our world as a whole. By the hand of fate and by conscious choice, we made a small dent in the fight against climate change, all the time making it a pleasurable affair. So, keep giving our communal scientific effort the great name it deserves. WE ARE ALL making a difference. Thank you for everything that you do to help students like Wren and I grow as scientists. We look forward to seeing everyone at SEB 2018!


Category: SEB Gothenburg 2017