A 1996 alumnus of the Geology Department, Dr. James Parham says he flourished as an undergrad at URI, guided by top-notch professors and mentors – an experience that left an indelible mark on his career as a scientist and educator.
He discovered one of those mentors, Professor Robert Shoop, within URI’s Zoology department. At the time, Professor Shoop was conducting research on Cumberland Island (off the coast of Georgia, USA) and he invited Parham to join him.
“We drive out to this little airfield where Professor Shoop explains how we have to fly out to Cumberland Island. So I get in the back of a tiny airplane and Bob hops up front. Now, I figure we are waiting for the pilot to show up when he starts fiddling with the controls. I’m almost to the point of saying ‘hey, I don’t think you should be doing that’ when suddenly the plane starts moving and we take off for Cumberland Island. At the island there’s this little airstrip with a bunch of wild horses blocking our landing. So we do a fly by while doing this horn thing to scare off the animals, and I’m like, what the hell is going on! As you can imagine, he just blew my world wide open. You know, what a great professor!”…Read more