Eric Cole graduated from Oregon State University in 2020 with a Bachelor of Science in Integrative Biology with an emphasis on Conservation Biology, Marine Ecology, and Leadership. As a first-generation college student, he sought to enhance his leadership skills and scientific knowledge by studying varying topics such as policy analysis, leadership theory, veterinary medicine, zoology, and marine ecology. After spending 8 years with the Oregon Zoo and traveling around the world for various wildlife internships, Eric found that a fundamental change is needed in conservation conversations. He saw a disconnect between scientific professionals and the public when having conversations about climate change and the state of our ecosystems. While conducting his thesis on estuarine crabs at the Hatfield Marine Science Center, conversations with mentors confirmed his observations: environmental leaders and scientists must be able to successfully communicate scientific information to the general population. Therefore, Eric is pursuing a career as an environmental leader and conservation manager. At Bren, he will specialize in Corporate Environmental Management and Economics and Politics. In the hopes of confronting the complex problem of increased human activity and biodiversity preservation, Eric wants to address the long-overdue need for leaders who can circumvent traditional communication barriers between the conservation community and the public.