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UNC senior Jason Norman (Mohawk) is set to graduate this May after a taking a long and winding route to his degree. The fourth of his sibling to attend UNC, this Raleigh native is the only one of them who can claim to be Tar Heel born and Tar Heel bred. Jason is a non-traditional student who originally joined the Carolina family in 2010, but decided to take some time off in 2012 for personal and career development. He hit a few financial roadblocks on his way back to UNC, and he detoured through the NC community college system to finish some of his pre-requisite courses before his return.

Jason is an environmental studies major, and has long felt that it is his calling to help find solutions to the many environmental threats we’re currently faced with. He recently declared a philosophy minor because he has found philosophy to be “a useful tool in critically evaluating how to be a conscientious member of society.”

Field work is one of Jason’s passions. He was part of a federal REU program at the Biosphere 2 in Arizona, where studied atmospheric biochemistry and plant biology. While he loved planning and executing his own research project from start to finish, Jason says his favorite memory from the experience was watching desert thunderstorms from inside an enclosed rainforest habitat. After graduation, Jason will take one last research trip with UNC when he goes to study coral reef habitats in the Pacific Ocean this summer. From there, he is planning on moving to Asheville, NC to pursue one of the many scientific careers available there.

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