I started my career in a technical field completing a Bachelor of Science in Honours Chemistry with a focus on environmental chemistry and a final year thesis in atmospheric chemistry. After working at an environmental consulting company, I returned to school to obtain a Master of Applied Science in Environmental Engineering. It wasn’t until designing my Master’s thesis project that I started to become more aware of a world outside of academic science and engineering that could potentially be just as impactful as the technological solutions I was hoping to create.
Do you recall playing a little game called tug-of-war as a child (or even as an adult)? If you were playing with one other person, you’d stand on one side, they’d stand on the other, with a rope held between you. You and your friend (or foe) would start tugging the rope and whomever pulled the other person over a line in the center would be declared the winner. Sometimes it’s muddy and sometimes it’s one group of friends versus another group of friends.
Today my colleague asked me, “are you going to test these sensors on a tree up in the mountains so you can go somewhere out-of-town?” My response was, “Nope, I’m putting them on trees at campus and at my house.” This colleague, an engineer who works in the basement of our building, looked at me like I was missing a grand opportunity. I had to explain more about why I’m psyched to work on city trees before he came around.
Many early-career scientists balance a multitude of roles when attending graduate school, from the heavy demands of coursework and research to teaching and thesis and dissertation writing, not to mention the added responsibilities of a job or career.
As we gear up for Women’s History Month, the Early Career Climate Forum and the Fisheries Blog are joining forces to highlight and build upon the personal stories of female researchers in our scientific networks by showcasing perspectives from the Department of Interior Climate Science Centers (CSCs).
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