Emily O'Regan hiking in the jungle with 2 elephants in the distance

Emily O’Regan, VG23


Somerville, MA

B.A. in Mathematics and B.A. in Environmental Studies, College of the Holy Cross, 2021

Why did you choose to pursue this degree, and why did you choose Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine to pursue this degree?

As climate change worsens and human activity pushes more and more species to the brink of extinction, it is increasingly evident that we must make great strides to protect animals and our shared environment. I am pursuing a degree in Conservation Medicine so that I can learn how to do just that while developing the skills pertinent to conservation, such as GIS and field research. I was drawn to Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine because of its unique emphasis on the One Health approach. By focusing on the connections between people, animals, and the environment, we can address global issues so that all living things flourish.

What are your interests and/or experience relative to your program?

In 2019, I spent a semester in Cambodia studying the conservation and ecology of Southeast Asian elephants. I focused several academic projects on conservation issues, including a mathematical model of Right Whale populations and a thesis on a Just Transition that balances the needs of people and animals. I also interned with the Environmental Solutions Initiative at MIT and the Wildlife Protection Department at the Humane Society of the United States. I am primarily interested in climate solutions, endangered species protection, and GIS applications for conservation.

What are your career goals after completing the program?

I am currently open to any role as a conservation professional, ideally conducting research involving field research and GIS. I am most passionate about large animals and marine mammals, but I want to do my part to help as many species as I can before finding a niche role. I hope to start by protecting wildlife in New England, and forging my path from there.