In Their Words: Maycee Hash, Norris Center Student Project Reward

June 04, 2015


Maycee Hash received the Norris Center Student Project Reward for her work on increasing the number of spider families, genera, and species. 

Congratulations Maycee!

What scholarship did you receive?

The Norris Center Student Project Reward. It funds students seeking to enhance an aspect of the UCSC natural history curricula. I received their donation to continue work on my field guide to the spiders of UC Santa Cruz, which I intend to craft into a learning tool for natural history courses.

What year are you? I am a 4th year majoring in ecology and evolutionary biology.

College: I currently poke under logs at The Village but my affiliated college is College 8.

Where do you call home?

I was raised in the rural areas of Humboldt County. My parents live near a creek and pond nestled within a mixed forest that offers a delightful suite of crawling animals like salamanders, frogs, giant water beetles, garter snakes, slugs, and spiders (only to name a few). My childhood (and adulthood...) comprised of exploring this riparian area and interacting with all of the living treasures it offered.

What made UC Santa Cruz stand out?

I selected UCSC because of its resemblance to Humboldt's floral and faunal assemblages and community appreciation for natural history. UCSC offers dedicated research facilities with a multitude of means to go out for hands on experience through the UC Natural Reserves and internships. UCSC is a living laboratory, a "home away from home” and those aspects made the school very attractive to someone with my biological interests.

What is your field of focus?

I am greatly interested in arthropods, especially spiders and their behavior. Other areas I am interested in are wildlife conservation and forest/riparian management.

A memorable moment as a UCSC undergrad?

As part of the lab component for Deborah Letourneau's Entomology course, we went on a weekend fieldtrip to Big Creek Reserve to catch insects for our student collections. There was something inherently touching about students tirelessly running up and down steep hills with aerial nets that made my heart smile.

How will this scholarship impact your academics/research?

Funding from the Norris folk will be distributed between purchasing a dedicated macro lens and reproducing my spider guide. The macro lens will allow me to photograph the spiders in situ ­­ out in the field where their presence should be recorded. Otherwise I collect spiders to photograph them in my studio using modified camera gear; it is time consuming for me and stressful for the spiders. Additionally, the lens will increase my photography output, meaning more spiders for the guide and thus increasing the guide's coverage for what spiders we may encounter here on campus.