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TheWildlife Biologist

Hannah Clipp Wildlife and Fisheries Resources and Multidisciplinary Studies
Bel Air, Maryland

The Violinist
The Fashionista

WVU student Hannah Clipp first found her lifelong passion at age 6 at the National Zoo, although she got lost from her parents while stopping to admire ducks swimming in a fountain. That passion was wildlife. 

Now the wildlife and fisheries resources major has brought her passion to life at WVU through research ranging from golden eagle surveys to collecting insect samples to checking on black bear dens. 


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At age 6, Hannah Clipp got lost … but she found a lifelong passion in the process.

What is your career goal? 1) To obtain a Ph.D. in Wildlife Biology and Conservation; 2) To conduct ecological research as a wildlife biologist for a federal natural resources management agency (such as the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service).

When you have 30 minutes of free time, how do you pass the time? I like to read books (mostly fiction and fantasy), sketch and be outdoors (although not necessarily all at the same time).

What's your quote to live by? “Don’t forget to be awesome.”

Where is your favorite view in West Virginia? The view from Bear Rocks at Dolly Sods is breathtaking.

Favorite Morgantown restaurant? Texas Roadhouse – I really like their bread. Also, Morgan’s High Street Dinner – their macaroni and cheese is delicious!

Favorite movie? “Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron.”

Favorite song of all time? “Until the End” by Quietdrive.

Fictional character most like you? Hermione Granger, although I would have been sorted into Ravenclaw rather than Gryffindor … or maybe Charlie Weasley (because I would definitely be studying dragons if that were an option).

If you could only visit one more place on campus, where would you go? Why? The Core Arboretum – it’s filled with trees, flowers, birds and squirrels.

If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go? All over – Yellowstone Park, Alaska, Galapagos Islands, Africa, etc. – to view and photograph wildlife and nature.

If you were to title your own autobiography, what would it be? “The Girl Who Got Lost at the National Zoo.”

What couldn’t you live without? Books and imagination.

Most valuable skill you have? The ability to write well.

Person you’ve met during your time here who has had the biggest impact on you? The professors and graduate students in the Division of Forestry and Natural Resources.

If you could have dinner with any three people, current or past, who would they be? Rachel Carson, J.K. Rowling and the Doctor.

What about any hidden talents?​ I am pretty good at drawing, creative writing and Harry Potter trivia; I am also great at detecting and running away from spiders.


Why did you choose to come to WVU? I was given a nice scholarship, plus I was interested in the wildlife program.

Why is WVU special to you? It is here that I have grown both personally and professionally. I have met and made friends.

What surprised you most about WVU when you got to campus for the first time? Constantly walking up hills.

When I'm on campus, you can most likely find me in Percival Hall, where I work and where I attend most of my classes; also, I like the taxidermied animals in the WVU Natural History Museum within the Percival Hall lobby.

What's the favorite class you've taken at WVU? Why? Ornithology, because I am very interested in birds, and the professor was awesome and very enthusiastic about the subject.

What's your most memorable moment at WVU? Why? Tranquilizing a black bear and holding a red-tailed hawk because both were new and amazing experiences.

What advice would you give to a student thinking of coming to WVU? Join student organizations, pursue your passion, run for leadership positions and get hands-on experience in your field.

What's your proudest accomplishment while at WVU? Being the first student to win both the Udall and Goldwater Scholarships was one of my proudest achievements; also, publishing my first manuscript in a peer-reviewed scientific journal.

Best thing about college life? Independence and the freedom to dictate your own schedule.

Worst thing about college life? Paying for college life.

How has WVU changed you? I have matured personally, intellectually and professionally – I have gained confidence, leadership skills, general and field-specific knowledge and field experience.

Has WVU had an impact on your passion? How? WVU has affirmed and developed my passion for wildlife and creative writing through the classes I have taken and the experiences I have gained.

If you could do one thing differently in your time at WVU, what would it be? I would get involved with undergraduate research and volunteer with graduate students sooner (i.e., beginning in freshman year).

What will you miss most about WVU? I will miss my wildlife technician job, conducting waterfowl surveys at Pleasant Creek WMA. I’ll also miss volunteering at the Avian Conservation Center of Appalachia and participating in bird walks with the Mountaineer Audubon Society

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