Jabe Gonda, Cedar Rapids native and a graduate of Wheaton College with a major in biology and minor in economics has interned at the Monarch Research Station for the past two summers. Jabe spent his days working alongside Mike Martin and Cam Watts, collecting data on rearing methods, specifically protected rearing of monarchs on wild common milkweed.
Jabe is currently working on getting his research published, while exploring graduate programs in entomology and/or conservation biology. In addition to his work at the Monarch Research Station, Jabe is also working with a nonprofit conservation effort to address siltation in Coralville Lake.
“This past season at the Monarch Research station has been challenging and rewarding. I am so thankful to have been the research and operations intern for the last two summers. Monarch Research has been an incredible place to learn and absorb while engaging with nature on a daily basis. We successfully raised hundreds of butterflies using the “Wild Side” rearing method. This is when a Biotent is placed over wildly grown milkweed in the field. We were thrilled to see a nominal difference in the size and weight of monarchs raised using this method and those netted in the wild! This is particularly encouraging for the the future of population rehabilitation in the Western monarch populations and the species as a whole! I have been so blessed to have the opportunity, means, and mentorship to develop and execute this research the last couple summers. Kudos to Mike and Cam for their guidance, expertise, and friendship. The possibilities provided to me through Monarch Research have been invaluable. As I transition into graduate school and beyond, I will always cherish this organization’s personable dedication to conservation and education. The Research Station is definitely one of my dearest happy places. I encourage anyone interested in helping monarchs or pollinators in general to volunteer and continue their commitment to helping their local ecosystems and beyond.” ~ Jabe
We have appreciated all of Jabe’s work with us and wish him well in his next endeavors.