As a freshman at Clarion University of Pennsylvania, Alysha Cypher took the lead on a research project, tracking a reintroduction of fishers and river otters from the 1990s. As a sophomore, the biology major worked with professor Dr. Andrew Turner, studying the chemosensory abilities in fish and the effects of pollution and pH changes on their behavior.
Now a senior Alysha has completed six of her own research projects and has assisted on 10 others. She co-founded the Center for Conservation Studies, as well as Scuba Club.
She is seeing more of her work pay off, including a partnership with biology professor Dr. Andrew Keth to develop the Amphibian Research Center on the grounds of nearby Clarion-Limestone School District. It will be a place where Clarion University and Clarion-Limestone students can learn about amphibians. These experiences have helped Cypher to develop confidence and authority to take a leadership role in her field.
"As a scientist it's my obligation to be able to talk to non-scientists, other scientists and people who want to become scientists," she said. "I like research, but I’m more passionate about teaching. I like inducing that 'eureka' moment."