Jessica Forbes (BIO, '13) is currently enrolled in a master’s degree program in biology at the Central University of Washington. CWU is the former home of a chimpanzee sanctuary made famous by one of its inhabitants, a chimp named Washoe, who was famous for sign language experiments in the 1960s.
CWU has since moved its chimps to a sanctuary in Canada, where Jessica will likely be travelling to gather data for her thesis research. In addition, she may also have the opportunity to travel to South Africa for her research. She plans to study either the conservation genetics of chimpanzees or the behavioral variations of some subspecies of chimps.
Of her program, she reports, "All of the faculty seem to be impressed with how many undergraduate research opportunities are available at SU and with some of the skills we learn in our courses! The students in our program can be trained in biology, anthropology, or psychology- so they're happy when students have experience with molecular biology techniques!" As an added bonus, Jessica enjoys great views of Mt. Rainier and Mt. Adams.