Bucks County Herald

DelVal student to study wildlife in Peru



Delaware Valley University zoo science/pre-vet major Katie Vasquez is raising funds for a four-week summer research program to study wildlife in Peru next summer.

Katie Vasquez, a 19-year-old student at Delaware Valley University in Doylestown, is set to embark on a life-changing journey this year as part of an expedition to study wildlife in Peru.

A zoo science/pre-vet major, Vasquez will assist Operation Wallacea on a four-week scientific research program in the Amazon rain forests in July.

“I am extremely excited to embark on this journey to study climate change and wildlife conservation deep in the Amazon rain forest, working and studying side by side with Peruvian biologists and a large team of scientists,” she stated. “We will be studying the effects of climate change and global warming on the exotic animals in that part of the world.”

The study abroad experience will offer Vasquez an opportunity to expand her knowledge in wildlife conservation while assisting in identifying areas in need of protection by implementing and assessing conservation management programs, the third-year student said.

“I will also be studying the demographics of many of the exotic animal species that live in the flooded forests of the Amazon jungle,” she added.

The total cost of the trip is more than $5,500, said Vasquez, who is trying to raise $3,000 to cover the research project.

“I plan to continue working at my job as a doctor’s assistant at Quakertown Veterinary Hospital and save to cover the remaining cost of the trip while also attending Delaware Valley University as a full-time student consistently on the Dean's List,” she stated. “This remaining cost will include round-trip airfare to Peru and supplies that are necessary for living and working in the Amazon jungle for an extended period of time.”

Along with working at Quakertown Vet Hospital, Vasquez has organized fundraisers through Yankee Candle and Teespring. She also has set up a Go Fund Me page where individuals can donate (visit gofundme.com and search Katie Vasquez in the search bar at the top of the page).

“My page has a photograph of me with a baby giraffe,” she said. “Here you can click a video link and learn more about Operation Wallacea and the expedition I will be joining.”

“Any donation, no matter how small, is greatly appreciated,” she stated on her Go Fund Me page. “I am beyond thankful for this amazing opportunity and the help of friends and family.”

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