Entomology and Applied Biotechnology Major
Bugs, beetles, butterflies and spiders are what Caleb White loves to study. A senior majoring in entomology, applied biotechnology and psychology, White traveled to Costa Rica last year to learn more about creepy crawlers.
White describes the trip as "completely amazing."
"Although it only lasted two weeks, I made lasting friendships, learned an extensive amount of knowledge on the subject of entomology and ornithology," he said. "And saw some of the coolest places I have ever seen in my life."
Experiences in Costa Rica
Those "cool places" included volcanoes, oceans and lakes. He also enjoyed meeting the local people, eating the local food, listening to music, watching soccer, dancing and white-water rafting.
Jumping into a 100-foot waterfall is among White's most unforgettable experiences on the trip. "It was so cold I couldn't feel my face afterward," he said.
"We had such an incredible schedule of events that looking back I am stunned we did it all," he said.
But the trip wasn't all for fun. White and his classmates in the college's insect and bird natural history course worked hard, too.
"The classes were pretty intense and required many hours of attention and detail that was arduous to say the least," he said. "I would spend hours and hours in the lab identifying and researching taxonomy and dichotomous keys to find out which bug I had captured."
Catching bullet ants, an animal so named because of its bite, is another Costa Rican experience White won't soon forget.
"Knowing it would feel like I’d been shot if I got bit, I proceeded to catch five of them for my friends and me," he said. "They were big, easily over an inch long, and so mean that when I tried to catch them, they would run toward my hand. A guide helped me put them in vials by holding a stick and letting them run into the vial. I ended up not getting bit, but it was definitely terrifying."
Q&A with Caleb
What made you choose to attend UGA?
The location and atmosphere.
How many times have you changed your major? What made you settle on your current major?
I have changed my major four times. Bugs are awesome! Having an applied biotechnology degree will prepare me for graduate school and make me marketable for jobs.
What exposure did you have to agriculture before coming to CAES?I grew up around farms and on one with chickens and horses.
What's your favorite class and why?
General entomology 4000 because I learned about a lot of things; it was not just mumbo-jumbo science that you will forget in a month.
What's one thing you're always sure to take to class?
Which instructor at the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences has been the most influential?
Dr. (Paul) Gullibeau — he is funny and makes learning science real. It's not memorize, rinse and repeat. He also makes you interested in the subject; just listening to him makes me want to learn all I can about bugs.
What's the most important thing you've learned this year?
Study always and strive for nothing less than exactly what you want.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
In graduate school working on my doctorate, or in the field as a forensic scientist.
What's the strangest or coolest thing that's happened to you at UGA?
Working in laboratories and getting paid is the most incredible thing ever.
Best advice for incoming freshmen:
Suck it up and study.
More about Caleb
Favorite thing to do outside class: Exercising, eating, sleeping and playing Xbox 360.
Share Your Story!
We are looking for interesting students, faculty, and staff to feature in our students section.
If you are involved with CAES academics and would like to share your CAES story, contact us at email@example.com.