Nelly Gutierrez-Gonzalez

I am a sophomore, currently undecided and exploring. One of my many interest is the natural world though, so volunteering at the herbarium gives me the chance to explore. I am able to talk to upper classmen about different careers in this field and work alongside lively people. What I volunteered to do is mount hundred year old plant specimens on to better material. By doing this, the specimens are preserved for future generations. They are important historically as well as data wise. Knowing this make me feel happy after a days work.

Sydney Zaragoza

I am a senior here at Augustana College majoring in Biology with an Art Minor, with the hope of pursuing a career in Biological Illustration. Some of my extracurricular activities on campus include Varsity Track and Field in addition to being a Senator of the Fine Arts on SGA. This summer I had the opportunity to attend an Illustrators conference in which I learned various techniques for not only anatomical illustration but also that of botanical and insect related illustrations. This conference solidified my desire to illustrate the natural world around us; something I hope to continue here in the herbarium. My main focus during my time here will be to accurately illustrate our findings and specimen of all the wonders preserved here at Augustana College.

Sarah Lipps

I am a senior at Augustana College majoring in Biology and also have a Spanish minor. I am super involved on campus as a Captain of the Equestrian Team along with being involved in Camp Kesem, a local non-profit organization. I plan on applying to graduate school and pursuing a masters in either microbiology or evolutionary biology and biodiversity. My hope is to eventually earn a PhD as well. This summer I have been working on the biodiversity of bryophytes on Augustana College’s campus. The plan is to create a list and upload a digital catalog for students and the general public to view. What is great about this project is that nobody had looked into the biodiversity of bryophytes on campus. Creating a digital catalog will make the information accessible and show how diverse flora can be in a small area such as Augustana College.

Eric Shershen

I’m a senior biology and environmental double major and I hope to pursue my PhD in either botany or ecology at one point in my life although I may take a gap year or two to get some hands on experience in my fields of interest. Currently, I am working on identifying and creating a county checklist for the bryoflora of Rock Island County. After this paper is finished, I will be working with the mosses of the driftless area and helping out with the organizing of Augustana’s herbarium.


Amanda Esparza

I am a senior at Augustana College majoring in biology with a pre-nursing tract and minoring in Public Health and Women and Gender Studies. I am president of the co-ed service fraternity Alpha Phi Omega, a member of the Delta Chi Theta sorority, and play the double-bass in the Augustana Symphony Orchestra. After I graduate from Augustana, I plan on teaching English in China for a year then go to nursing school to pursue travel nursing. This summer, I have been working in the herbarium lab at Augustana College arranging specimens in taxonomical order (including the proper labelling and layout of the cabinets), consolidating the historical collection in the herbarium cabinets, designing databases, and digitizing and taking high-resolution digital photographs of the specimens. The work I did this summer allows me to pass down my knowledge to future students that wish to help in the keep-up of the herbarium. During this amazing opportunity, I was funded by the program LSAMP-IINSPIRE.