reed is majoring in Marine Conservation
BREVARD COUNTY • MELBOURNE, FLORIDA – Being a scholar-athlete at Florida Tech takes an incredible amount of hard work and dedication to excel both in the classroom and on the field.
We caught up with Panther women’s lacrosse player Maggie Reed, a senior who is majoring in Marine Conservation, for this edition of Scholar-Athlete Spotlight.
Hailing from Middletown, Maryland, Maggie has been a fixture in the Panther defense over the past three seasons, starting 38 of a possible 39 games in her Crimson and Gray career so far, tallying 47 ground balls and 28 caused turnovers in that time.
Reed was named to the Florida Tech Athletic Director’s Honor Roll following the 2021 and 2023 seasons, as well as the Sunshine State Conference Commissioner’s Honor Roll following her freshman campaign.
Maggie joined us to talk about what she loved about studying her major at Florida Tech and what she wants to do with her degree.
Tell us a little bit about your major, what made you choose it and what do you want to do with it?
I grew up on a ranch in Maryland my whole life and I had an early connection with animals. So, I knew I wanted to do something related to that. My major is marine conservation, and when looking at schools, for education and lacrosse, I found Florida Tech and realized it’s the perfect spot to play lacrosse in warm weather and pursue marine conservation with the IRL [Indian River Lagoon] and the ocean being right there.
How often have you had the chance to go to the Indian River Lagoon?
Along with going to the IRL on my free time, the course catalog I have allows me to go to the IRL and the beach such as the Sebastian Inlet for educational purposes.
So, the class I’m taking right now for marine bio, we actually go to the Sebastian Inlet and the IRL, we look at organisms, ecosystems, sediment. We look at how to apply certain issues to the real world, which is really cool for Florida Tech to allow us students to actually get hands-on with what we’re studying.
What’s something you’ve learned at Florida Tech about your major that you didn’t know before?
Something I’ve learned here at Florida Tech, along with marine conservation and environmental conservation versus overall, is the balance of ecosystem services and monetary value.
A large part of what us, the general public, don’t understand is that environmental conditions don’t get a lot of attention just because of money.
So, we tend to put a monetary value on natural resources, but it’s cool now that we’re looking into certain ecosystem services.
We can put a value on these ecosystem services, such as the consequences of not taking care of them, and it’s catching the attention of people such as air purification, water purification, eco-tourism, and agriculture, where we get our food and our water. So, it’s cool that now we’re learning how to present this to the public for them to pay attention to because of monetary values.
How has being a collegiate athlete prepared you for what you’re doing now and are there lessons from the field that you apply to your studies?
Lacrosse has taught me a lot of skills such as leadership, time balancing, and time management and I think a lot of times with biology, there’s not a right or wrong answer, and that’s very frustrating for a lot of people. So, it’s just being patient, trusting the process, and staying driven to your plan, and your research.
Being able to handle a lot of issues because in the world of biology, you don’t have a set experiment, you have a lot of environmental factors that affect it such as weather patterns, and temperature, so you just have to be able to face all of those issues and stay on your path and what you’re researching or what you’re trying to solve.
What advice would you give to an athlete coming to Florida Tech that has an interest in Marine Conservation?
My biggest piece of advice is to get out there, get your hands on some field work. We are in one of the most beautiful places in Florida with the IRL and ocean being right there and Sebastian Inlet. So, if you are going into marine conservation, there’s no better way to learn than to actually physically get involved in the environment.
What’s something you’ve done in the classroom that you’re most proud of?
After I graduate, I’m excited to apply the knowledge I’ve learned at Florida Tech to not only benefit ecosystems in the IRL, but coastal ecosystems all over the world. I really hope to speak for those who don’t have a voice, such as endangered species, and for their habitats for protection and for spreading the knowledge of protecting marine and coastal environments, so that it also benefits our human health as well.
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