Costa Rica

Photo by: Alyka Zahnd 

Missouri Western’s Biology Department will be taking a trip to the Pacific Northwest, specifically the Washington State coastal area, the week after Spring 2023 Graduation. Associate Professors Dr. Koy and Dr. Roy are the two instructors for the Spring course and also chaperoning the educational trip. 


The class size maxes out at 14 students, but there are only 7 students currently enrolled. This number can grow and students do not have to be a biology major to enroll. The class size is kept at a small number due to activities that will take place while in Washington. 


“We will be hiking in the mountains, out in the peninsula, and out by the ocean shore; stuff we want to have a small ratio of students to instructors for sure.” Explained Dr. Koy. 


Dr. Roy elaborated on why they chose the Pacific Northwest and what the area has to offer students and their education. 


“We wanted to go to a place which would have everything where students would get an overview of overall organismal diversity, but also at the same time, some of the living or nonliving components that they are interacting with.” Said Dr. Roy. “So the Pacific Northwest kind of fits into that definition very well because you have the marine part where you have all marine life like the saltwater organisms, but then there is also Lake Washington which has all kinds of freshwater plants and animals, and then there's the volcanic mountain.” 


Both Dr. Roy and Dr. Koy seem to be anxiously waiting for the spring course to begin and to take advantage of the opportunity they have to take their students on this once in a lifetime trip. 


“While we’re there I am hoping to either charter an entire boat or get a big chunk of a boat to ourselves and go whale watching.” Said Dr. Koy. “That’s something I never had time to do when I was a student there. I had so much research to do, I never actually got to do whale watching. So we will definitely be doing that.”


It is exciting for Dr. Koy to revisit the place she received her PhD from. This is very much  a full circle moment to be able to visit and bring her students to a place she spent so much time and energy researching and obtaining her education. 


Like Dr. Koy, Dr. Roy is also excited for their trip and whale watching but she tells us a little more. 


“I am excited for the cool plants and animals that you get to see while we are there.” Said Dr. Roy. “I mean, not every day, can you just go up and drive for 10 minutes to look at sea stars and other cool oceanic creatures and then at the same time drive for 20 more minutes across a bridge and go observe a lake. So I am excited about exploring the different things they have to offer over there.” 


Both Dr. Koy and Dr. Roy encourages any and all students to consider signing up for the course no matter your major. Their offices are  located in Agenstein 227 for those looking for more information in regards to the trip this upcoming spring. 


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