Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Finding My Niche While Sharing My Passion

Global conservation efforts will not make a significant impact until the general public is engaged and aware of how each individual’s actions can influence the health of our planet. After I graduate, I intend to dedicate my life’s work to investigating the effects of and solutions to climate change as well as communicating climate and ecological science to the public in a way that promotes both understanding as well as a desire to become engaged in the process. For this to be truly effective, it must occur from a global political level to a personal and individual level.

It wasn’t until my senior year at Clemson that I realized I wanted to pursue graduate school. I began speaking with graduate students about what first steps to take. It was strongly recommended to me that I apply to undergraduate research programs. I am so thankful that I was accepted to The Conservation of Marine Resources Creative Inquiry team. Working with scientists who share my zeal for protecting the world’s natural beauty has been very enlivening, and I have come to share their passion for marine conservation.

Off campus, I obtained a unique skill set while working part time as an E-learning developer for an automotive training company. I was able to use the skills I developed there to develop an interactive training system that could be used by any students who would work under Dr. Childress in the future. The modules I developed will teach future researchers how to identify various coral, sponge, algal, and parrotfish species in the field. These modules also include quizzes to solidify the students’ grasp of the material. My partnership with this lab has given me an opportunity to apply skills I developed in my job as an E-learning module developer to subject matter that I love.

Creating E-learning modules allows me to leverage my passion for public engagement in a way that will affect positive engagement and educational impact in science. The opportunity I have had to use my work experience to help future undergraduate scientists has reinforced and added confidence to my passion for engaging the public in this urgent and worthwhile endeavor. I need to spend more time learning and contributing to other’s research before deciding which direction to go with my own investigative efforts. The task at hand for me right now is to find several internships that will allow me to contribute to my field while exploring its various facets in order clarify where I want to find my niche, and I have little doubt that I will be able to continue using my skills in developing e-learning modules to engage students and the public wherever my internships take me.

If you would like to see more of these modules, click on the links below.

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