Student Stories

by Erica Lind

Carli Chalmers gained hands-on experience at the Birds of Prey Centre while participating in an Applied Study at the U of L.

Not everything you learn in university needs to come from a textbook. For Carli Chalmers, some of the most valuable knowledge she gained came in the form of feathers and talons.

“In the classroom, learning isn’t always centred around your specific interests,” says Carli. “By doing an Applied Study at the Birds of Prey Centre in Coaldale, I was able to focus on exactly what I wanted to learn.”

The Applied Studies program at the University of Lethbridge enables students to obtain credit for hands-on experience at a 2000, 3000, or 4000 level. Students who participate in the program are able to add a personalized dimension to their degrees, enhancing their university experience and making them more employable once they graduate. Work experience is combined with research, creating a diversified learning opportunity.

During Carli’s 4000-level Applied Study at the Birds of Prey Centre, she had a wide variety of responsibilities. Not only was she responsible for cleaning, feeding, training, and handling birds, she was also responsible for running the visitor centre and brainstorming new ways to cater educational programs to specific groups of people. In addition, Carli wrote a paper on the relationship between prey size and hawk size as part of the Applied Study. Carli, who has career aspirations in the field of veterinary sciences, enjoyed her Applied Study because it allowed her to learn exactly how she wanted to learn.

“This was a very unique experience,” says Carli. “It provided me with much more one-on-one interaction with a professor than normal classes allow, and I gained a lot of critical thinking skills as well as many other valuable skills.”

Carli, who is graduating this fall with a Bachelor of Biological Sciences, has recently been accepted into a new veterinary program at the University of Calgary.

To learn more about the Applied Studies program, please visit the website or drop by Career Bridge located in room AH151, Anderson Hall.