Senior Environmental Science major Daniel Song was watching the second round of the NCAA basketball tournament when he found the thick manila envelope addressed to him from the Fulbright Foundation.
“My heart skipped a beat,” he said. “I think it suffices to say I was ecstatic.”
Song, whose research has previously taken him to the Gump Station on Moorea, Cyprus, Turkey, and Washington D.C., will be spending a year as a Fulbright Scholar studying plants and bees on a Greek Island. The project is an extension of work he did last summer on the relationship between pollinators and a pesky species called the Yellow Star Thistle that has invaded California.
“Essentially I’ll be sitting outside in a thicket of thorny Yellow Star Thistle observing beetles, flies, bumble bees, solitary bees, and honeybees take sweet nectar from the flowers,” he said.
Along with his research, Song played intramural sports, volunteered as a CalSo counselor and a residential assistant, participated in a GIS project with Maggie Kelly, and volunteered through Cal Corps at Think College Now, a charter school in Oakland.
He said the best thing about being a CNR student is the student advising.
“The already world renowned departments such as ESPM try to reach out across disciplines and that makes for very interesting course offerings and opportunities to interact with awesome faculty,” he said. “CNR pays extra attention to their students, something that other colleges may not necessarily be able to give.”
In the future, Song hopes to go to graduate school for ecology and public policy.
“I’m not sure where that will take me, but my current plan is for research to envelop the first half of my life and to dedicate the latter part of my life to environmental advocacy,” he said. “I also want to fit in time as a high school educator. Maybe I’ll go talk to Susan Kishi, she always seems to have the answers!”