Donald Uzarski grew up in the outdoors. It was the natural world, and how it was connected, that drew him to it.
It's no wonder he became a biology major, with a focus on natural resources.
"I have known that I wanted to go into biology for as long as I can remember," he said. "I grew up outdoors and have always been fascinated with biodiversity and ecology."
He shares that interest — and his name — with his father, Donald G. Uzarski. The elder biologist is a CMU professor in the biology department and director of the CMU Biological Station on Beaver Island and the CMU Institute for Great Lakes Research.
The budding biologist, who goes by Donnie, is finding his own niche in the field, though.
Donnie, a sophomore, finds himself fascinated not only with the ecology of the Great Lakes, but around the world.
"I chose CMU because of its study abroad opportunities, specifically the Institute of Educational Sciences Galapagos Islands program through the College of Science and Engineering," he said.
The IES Galapagos Islands program is one of a wide variety of study abroad opportunities available to students. The program allows CMU students to spend a semester in one of the world's most beautiful and biologically diverse island locations.
Donnie will be off to the Galapagos Islands in spring of 2018.
"There is an endless amount of resources and opportunities at CMU that will most definitely outline the rest of your career," he said.
Another of those opportunities has been the CMU Biological Station, where he conducted research on the declining population of Great Lakes whitefish.
"The CMU Biological Station has been a great opportunity for myself and all of the biology students at CMU. Students can go to the biological station to take classes in a one-of-a-kind environment or to conduct research in one of the most unique places in Michigan," he said.
Those experiences, he said, will stay with him forever.