Juan Alega.jpg

Juan Alega

High School Fellow


How did you get interested in SIFT and TERF?

"I was doing research on certain programs that I could participate in throughout the summer. I've always wanted to step out of my comfort zone and explore new things, such as ecology, because I haven't been immersed in it as much in high school. SIFT actually increased my interest in ecology and environmental science, which led me to apply and participate in TERF. My interest keeps on going with the field work that I've been doing.

I don't usually go hiking or spend as much time outdoors in the forest. The amount of time that I'm spending right now outside hiking and being on different levels of terrain is really interesting and more eye-opening because not only am I getting to see the different wildlife, but also the different biodiversity that the forest has to offer.

I'm definitely the outlier because my entire family is all interested in computers, computer science and software developing, that kind of thing. I'm the outlier that's always been headstrong on science and medicine and exploring different things, and I never really wanted to go into computer science. I tried one course in high school and I did not like it at all. I didn't like the idea of just sitting at a desk, at a computer."

Juan worked with Jonathan Myers' Forest Biodiversity team during summer 2018. Learn more about their long-term temperate forest research here and their prescribed fire experiment here.