I received my biology degree in 1975. I graduated with 57 hours in biology (only 30 were required for a major). I also had two minor, Geology and Chemistry. Plus I needed one more math class to have a third minor in math. It matters little now, but I was the Honor Graduate in Biology that year, as well as the Pika Award winner, President of the Biology Club, etc. . .
The degree in biology was a certification of what I had basically been for most of my life. I grew up catching everything that I could catch and was not satisfied with just having them in their tank, jar, cage, or whatever. I had to know all about them. That was especially true for snakes. By the time I was 13 or so, I could ID every snake in North American; tell you its’ common name, its scientific name, size range, habits, food, breeding info, etc. I was not too far from being able to do that with lizards and turtles as well. I was a herpetologist long before I had the degree.
Besides herpetology, my main interests in biology were population ecology/dynamics and communities with a bit of an evolutionary view thrown in.
In graduate school, my personal study was involved with electrophoresis – the early work that led to what is not known as a whole field involved around the study of DNA in its various forms. What I did was crude compared to the work of today, but it was certainly interesting and fun. However, it did involve more time in the lab than I really wanted. The fun part for me was being in the field gathering the specimen for my study. Those specimen were of Aspidoscelis tigris, which back in those days was known under the much more interesting name of Cnemidophorus tigris. It was certainly more fun running all around the southwestern desert collecting these elusive lizards commonly called Desert Whiptails or Tiger Whiptails. I collected them from the Permian Basin area of West Texas to Tucson, Arizona.
After school, I worked for the UT system and was more involved in labs, but also had the joy of working in the field with students involved in various studies.
Somewhere I have pictures but I am not sure where they are.
Recently, I have done a little bit of field work for some land owners who wanted a wildlife survey of their property. That was a lot of fun.