By Nathaniel Park, Markus Min, Carly Messex, Edward Griffin Nicholson, Lim Jin Wen Desmond, and Catherine Wu

As we wrap up our projects, we are finally getting tying together all the loose ends. After months of slogging through bureaucracy and dealing with delay after delay, our Bigbelly pilot unit is finally on its way, with a purchase order for our unit having just been submitted.

The GIS portion of our project really morphed into more of a foundation for future research and later projects. Our team gathered not a small amount of data from separate departments at UCLA and compiled them into comprehensive maps that can be utilized for future use. While we tried to use the data gathered to compliment other parts of the project, there seems to be significant data absence and lack of information sharing throughout the separate departments at UCLA. We hope that our push for data has helped to mobilize these departments to revise data that has become obsolete over time.

We have also consolidated the advice given to us by campuses and organizations into a list and we plan to include it in our final presentation for next year’s team.  

Nate: “If anything, I learned this year how to send massive amounts of emails with no reply.  Still though, I am grateful for the opportunity to learn first-hand about the process of bureaucracy while still doing a lot of fun field work. My team was great and that matters the most in group projects, I have learned.”

Catherine: The past two quarters with SAR have been an incredible and incomparable experience. Working with local experts, presenting our projects and poster, and communicating with others eager to improve pest management have redefined my perspective on professional development and how organizations work. Being in SAR gave me the opportunity to enact real change and contribute to sustainability beyond what I imagined I would be doing in college. I am so grateful for the endless support from our stakeholder, Bonny Bentzin; SAR directors, Austin and Mochi; and faculty advisors, Carl and Cully. But most importantly, I appreciate my team members for the laughs, positivity, dedication. Thanks for making my time with SAR worthwhile.”

Markus: I had a wonderful experience with SAR this year. While I was apprehensive at first about how much we would be able to accomplish, I found that by reaching out and talking to different people who could help us, relying on the expertise and connections of our wonderful stakeholder Bonny, and by working together as a team we were able to find ways to enact meaningful change. I grew a lot as a person and this experience was a great learning experience for me. I had a ton of fun this year, thanks in large part to the awesome people I got to work with, and I know I will miss my team and the SAR family.”

Carly: “So long, and thanks for all the fish (snacks).”

Desmond: “We may have diverged significantly from our original goals, but this journey has been one of the highlights of the year for me. Never would I have imagined myself geeking out over rat pictures… and finding some of them adorable. Shoutout to all my teammates for making this research program the only form of group work I have enjoyed so far at UCLA. Also, Griffin, no thank you for always finishing the snacks.”

Griffin: “While I found the project confusing and challenging at first since we were the first IPM team, I am proud of what we were able to accomplish especially after being told our original goal of eliminating rodenticide was impossible by many different people. I’m glad I was able to work with such a great team and I enjoyed growing through our project and becoming more involved at UCLA. I believe this project was even worth all of those early morning meetings and camera pick-ups. Also, I am sorry for eating all the snacks Desmond.”