Animal Behavior: Calling all animal lovers


Chantelle Boateng, Staff Writer


College is a place where the steps to fulfilling one’s future goals begin. Utica College provides a multitude of majors, to ensue the aspirations of its students. The Animal Behavior program is among the many majors provided for Utica College students.

Students majoring in Animal Behavior, which is known as the study of ethology, focuses on the different ways in which the behavior of animals is influenced. The major also concentrates on the interactions between the animals and their environments.

“That interaction can be sensing, learning, mating, foraging, antipredator behaviors, social behaviors, parental care and even play,” Professor of Biology Bryant Buchanan said. “We are interested in the physiological and evolutionary forces that cause animals to act in certain ways.”

The majors on campus each have a set of its focus and specific goals of its students. These requirements could be keeping a certain grade point average, doing an internship, shadowing a doctor or conducting research with a professor.

“The focus of our animal behavior program is to prepare students for advanced training in animals behavior or a related discipline, most likely in graduate school,” Buchanan said.

There are also questions professors expect their students to be able to answer or understand.

“We have a research focus in our program, so our goal is to teach our students how scientists studying animals are able to answer questions about how and why animals do the things they do. We have a strong focus on reading and understanding the research literature and understanding the basic theory,” Buchanan said.

While some students may not have an interest in the animal behavior program, students with love for animals consider it their home.

“I chose my major because I love animals and want to work with them,” said transfer student Jenna Carlesimo. “My future job goal is to work at Animal Kingdom with the animals and to do that I need to be proficient in my understanding of animals.”

There are other things that students do to get ahead or learn about the field in which they are interested.

“Students get ready to join the research field or pre-vet, which will continue in veterinarian school, like me zookeeper, or caretakers going into the caretaking field,” said Jenna Carlesimo.

For one to succeed in their job field of choice, they have to have a passion for the job allows it to go smoothly.

“I love learning about the habit and environment of animals and genetics,” said Carlesimo. “I’ve always been super interested in science, and so now I’m just learning all I need to know.”

Although many students may find certain courses in their major to be difficult others, think it is the best way to prepare for future careers.

“The animal behavior course is great because it prepares you for the graduate level classes that one has to take if they choose to go to graduate school,” Sophomore Hamza Allahditta said.