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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

Arizona WBB looks to rebound at home against UC San Diego
Jason Dayee, Assistant Sports Editor • December 7, 2023
 

    Ambitious undergrad on accelerated track

    Chris Schvarcz, an ecology and evolutionary biology senior, originally wanted to be a pre-med student, but because of his roots in Indonesia he found a love for the ocean and chose to study marine science instead. He has done work at Biosphere 2 and is also vice president of the Marine Awareness Club.
    Chris Schvarcz, an ecology and evolutionary biology senior, originally wanted to be a pre-med student, but because of his roots in Indonesia he found a love for the ocean and chose to study marine science instead. He has done work at Biosphere 2 and is also vice president of the Marine Awareness Club.

    His name is Chris Schvarcz, but some might call him Superman.

    Schvarcz, a senior majoring in ecology and evolutionary biology, is an undergraduate already taking classes toward a master’s degree.

    Schvarcz intended to study pre-med, so he started college as a biochemistry major. But because of his love for wildlife and the ocean, he chose to study marine science instead.

    “”A career in marine biology was more suited for me,”” he said. “”I found new meaning in marine conservation and education, which I hope to be greatly involved in down the road.””

    His love for the ocean comes from his life in Indonesia. He grew up surfing and playing on the beach there.

    He is currently in an accelerated master’s program at the UA, which he will be continuing for another year.

    Schvarcz is part of the Blue Chip leadership program, and is a UA science ambassador. As an ambassador, he gets to spread his love and excitement for science to high school students when they visit the UA’s College of Science.

    He is currently the president of the Marine Awareness and Conservation Society, which he named his biggest accomplishment at the UA.

    “”The club is really awarding. We reach out to local elementary schools and teach them about marine biology,”” he said. “”We have gone to the Biosphere 2 and we did a big beach cleanup in Rocky Point.””

    An advocate for sustainability and conservation, he is also a member of the Arizona Student Recycling Association.

    Moriah Flagler, a theatre education senior, is the vice president of the Marine Awareness club and has known Chris for three years.

    “”He is a really good leader. He always takes things a step further than what we expect to do,”” Flagler said. “”You feel like everything is taken care of when he is in charge.””

    “”The best word I can think of to describe him is ‘stoked’ – he is a chill surfer guy,”” she added.

    Chris has also already done a lot of research at the UA. He looked into squirrel ecology in Baja, Mexico, for the Undergraduate Biology Research Program.

    As part of his master’s program, he is studying the genetics of algae in the ocean in the lab of Jeremiah Hackett.

    “”He is doing better than I was as an undergraduate,”” said Hackett, assistant professor of ecology and evolutionary biology. “”Chris works hard and works late every day, but it does not seem like work to him because he loves what he does.””

    Schvarcz said he has “”always valued doing your best in life.””

    “”I never really thought twice about going to college,”” he said. “”As a high school student, I began to realize that I wanted to spend the rest of my life not only doing something I enjoy but doing something that would help others and contribute to some way to the larger world.””

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