Dr. Carolyn Kurle, who graduated with a Germanics major from UW in 1993, has been named a 2012-2013 Hellman Faculty Fellow at UC San Diego. Dr. Kurle works in the Section of Ecology, Behavior and Evolution at UCSD. The Hellman Fellowship Program was established at UC San Diego in 1995 to provide financial support and encouragement to young faculty who show capacity for great distinction in their research and creative activities. A faculty member in the Division since 2010, Kurle received her doctorate from UC Santa Cruz in 2008 and her bachelor’s degree from the University of Washington in 1994. Her research is focused on how human perturbations such as habitat alteration, invasive species and biodiversity loss impact communities. She also strives to incorporate concrete conservation actions into her research projects so that she can both study and contribute to restoring ecosystems.
She writes about her time in Germanics at UW: “Of course I remember my wonderful German classes in Denny Hall. I loved my German literature degree and was so happy to have double degreed as I got to spend half my time in literature and half in science. This made for a wonderful education. I took a very roundabout way to academia after graduating from the UW in 1994. I worked for NOAA at the National Marine Mammal Laboratory for two years as a technician up on Sand Point in Seattle, then went to Texas A&M University for a MS in Wildlife Science. I worked for NOAA at Sand Point again for three more years as a Research Scientist, then finally went back for a PhD at UC Santa Cruz in 2001. After that and a post-doc at UC Santa Barbara, I ended up as faculty down here at UC San Diego. I write fiction in my spare time and I just love that I have that literature degree. It was wonderfully illuminating and I had the most fun in those classes. What a wonderful program and I've always been grateful I got that degree - even though I chose to go into the sciences.”