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Diving in coral reefs, living with wolves, feeding sharks: Nicholas Boucher '14, a lacrosse player from Philadelphia, likes to experience environmental science and wildlife conservation firsthand.

During a three-week Intensive Course Abroad trip to Honduras, Boucher studied tropical marine biology by scuba diving every day amid the flora and fauna of the coral reefs, observing organisms he had before only seen in textbooks, and learning about how human activity is affecting life underwater. This experience propelled Boucher's interest in marine biology and conservation. He currently is an aquarist apprentice at the National Aquarium in Baltimore. Aquariums and animal sanctuaries, like the wolf sanctuary in Colorado, where Boucher interned during the summer, "help people understand that everything has intrinsic value," he says.

As an apprentice, Boucher helps maintain 14 tanks at the Aquarium, a job that includes, among other things, feeding sharks. Boucher also assists at the rehabilitation wing, where he once helped preform a necropsy on a bass with an infection: "I opened up the fish and the vet I was working under pointed out the organs," he recalls. "It was amazing to get the chance to apply classwork to a real-life situation."

Nicholas Boucher ’14

“[Aquariums and animal sanctuaries] help people understand that everything has intrinsic value.”