A student at the Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources, Ami Flowers has a passion for the outdoors and it shows through her academics and extracurricular activities. She has been there and done that: volunteering in the local community with the State Botanical Garden of Georgia and Sandy Creek Nature Center, working across the Southeast on Atlantic Gulf Sturgeon research in Florida and White-tailed Deer research in Texas, and studying abroad in the rainforests of Costa Rica and the bushveld Savannas of South Africa. On May 10th, Ami will graduate with her degree in Wildlife Management and the possibilities are endless for her future!
Greenbrier High School
B.S.F.N.R. in Wildlife Management
University highlights, achievements, awards and scholarships:
In the spring of 2007, as a student ambassador for the Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources, I received the inaugural 2007-2008 Warnell Student Ambassador of the Year Award. I was also awarded the Archie E. Patterson Scholarship, the Southeastern Society of American Foresters Scholarship, and the Georgia Green Industry Association Scholarship. I served as the first female president of the UGA Forestry Club. I am also a member of the UGA Student Chapter of the Wildlife Society and the Xi Sigma Pi Honor Society.
Currently, I am the teaching assistant for the UGA South Africa Study Abroad Program. This program concentrates on International Wildlife Management, particularly in the Kruger National Park. My responsibilities include recruiting students for our course, guest lecturing in classes about international issues in conservation, writing proposals for future study abroad programs in South Africa, developing and updating course curriculum, and preparing other relevant material. I will be returning with the 2008 program teach students about the natural history of the South African bushveld.
Family Ties to UGA:
My brother, H. Jared Flowers, graduated from UGA in the fall of 2004. He also attended the Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources, double majoring in Environmental Resources and Fisheries and Aquaculture. He is now working on his master’s degree at the University of Florida, but remains a loyal UGA fan. My great great uncle, Claude Ralph Youngblood, was a professor at the Terry College of Business during the 1950s.
I chose to attend UGA because…
…of my love for the great outdoors. In high school, my fellow students would often say they wanted to be doctors or lawyers, but all I wanted to do was be outside, looking at trees and rocks, watching birds, picking up insects and reptiles, and fishing. I never wanted to be stuck behind a desk surrounded by four walls. I wanted the forest to be my office! UGA had the perfect program of study for me: wildlife management at the Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources. Now, I take classes in the morning and have labs in the afternoon that are held outside at the Whitehall Forest, Oconee Forest Park, and many other scenic locations across Georgia. This is exactly where I want to be. I also chose UGA because I have been a loyal Bulldog fan all my life. My earliest memories are of my family’s Saturday trips to Sanford Stadium. I have never felt so much energy before in one place—as the lone trumpet plays the Battle Hymn of the Republic over a silent stadium, I know my blood runs red and black.
My favorite things to do on campus are…
…to attend the sporting events. I love going to the football games in the fall and watching the tennis matches in the spring. I am very athletic, so I like to work out at the Ramsey Center, jog the trails throughout Oconee Forest Park, and I enjoy playing intramural tennis and softball.
When I have free time, I like…
…to relax and concentrate on my artwork. I have a passion for black and white photography and also enjoy pen and ink drawings. I can sit for hours on end just working on an illustration—-usually with a nature theme. I was honored to receive 3rd place in the 2006 State Botanical Gardens of Georgia Art Competition for my drawing “Drei Bäume”, which took me a whole semester to complete. In my free time I also try to play as much tennis as possible, especially USTA league play.
The craziest thing I’ve done is…
…watch my classmates on the South Africa study abroad drive away, leaving me at the Pafuri gate of Kruger National Park. After taking the four week UGA course, I decided to extend my stay an extra month to attend an EcoTraining course. My classmates left, and I joined a group of South African college students who where training to be field guides. It was the craziest thing I’ve ever done, but the most rewarding and life changing. Because of this adventure, I am now a member of the Field Guide Association of Southern Africa and am a certified Level One Trails Guide.
My favorite place to study is…
..right outside the entrance of Warnell at the Mary Kahrs Warnell Garden. I love to sit under the river birches while I study and listen to Dr. Dick Daniels and his friends play music in a bluegrass jam session. It makes me feel like I am in the north Georgia Mountains.
If I could share an afternoon with anyone, I would love to share it with…
…my ancestors. I would have one big family reunion and talk to everyone from my parents to my greatest of great grandparents. I am so fascinated by my family’s history, because who I am today is all because of my ancestors. By conversing with each person, I would discover so much—not only about their history, but the history of our country, our culture, and our natural world. In doing so, I would also thank each and everyone of my family members for the life they lived and the life that they have given to me.
If I knew I could not fail, I would…
…become a professional tennis player and retire at the age of 30, using the money from my championship wins to support natural resource conservation.
After graduation, I plan to…
…take a year off from my studies and return to South Africa and obtain my FGASA Level 2 certification. Afterwards, I would like to continue my educational career by pursuing a Master’s degree in international conservation. I like to take on new challenges and opportunities as they arise, so as far as my future goes, I will ride the wind and see where it takes me. Who knows—-I may just yet do something great.
The one UGA experience I will always remember will be…
…attending the Association of Southern Forestry Clubs Conclave with the UGA Forestry Club. This annual event is a competition between 15 Southeastern Universities, from Florida to Arkansas—essentially the college version of the ESPN Outdoor Games. I look forward to it every year, and my classmates and I have the most fun competing and representing UGA. I have won the dendrology competition three years in a row, and placed second and third in the women’s bow saw, women’s crosscut, and jack and jill crosscut events. The whole competition is a team effort and during the 2008 Conclave in Gainesville, Florida, we placed 2nd overall, 2nd in technical events, and 2nd in physical events!!! This is the best finish we’ve had in quite a long time! Go Timberdawgs.