young man hugging his dog

Jaeger Johnson, MCM23


Port Saint Lucie, FL

B.S. Chemistry
A.A. General Studies
Yale University, 2021
Indian River State College, 2017

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

I chose to pursue conservation medicine after doing applied chemistry research in NGOs during my undergraduate career. Through continuing to work in One Health spaces, I decided to pursue higher education in this field of study, as I wanted to fill gaps in my knowledge and learn about current topics of conservation biology. Further, I wanted to prime my veterinary school education with non-traditional topics in veterinary and animal health. I specifically came to the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine because this program has unmatched opportunities, resources, and professors with whom to make meaningful and impactful changes.

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

I spent a few summers working in the context of One Health, testing oysters and fish for cyanotoxins in local Florida waterways and developing protocols to test the same waterways for average concentrations of nutrient loads. I also worked in wildlife rehabilitation, witnessing the obstacles wildlife face as a result of anthropogenic cohabitation. Although I have worked for the past year as a veterinary technician in a small animal hospital, I was constantly looking for more opportunities to work in a wildlife context. Unrelated to my prior experiences, I wanted to use the MCM program to explore conservation medicine relative to the field of architecture to understand green design and how buildings impact ecosystems.

What are your career goals after completing the program?

After this program, I will be enrolling in veterinary school, using what I’ve learned in this program to guide my education in veterinary medicine. I hope to incorporate One Health in my veterinary work, informing my studies to focus on how veterinarians can continue to effect change in conservation. I hope to continue clinical medicine with wildlife rehabilitators working to restore ecosystems at both the clinical and systems level using my veterinary and MCM degrees. Ideally, I want to work in academic settings to further inspire students to pursue conservation medicine while challenging the norms of veterinary medicine to encourage meaningful and beneficial steps toward a wildlife focus.