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).
Featured Science Moms
Graduate funding often matches the 9-month term that most professors hold, so not every graduate student has access to year-round funding. Perhaps you pick up a job at the local coffee shop, or maybe you move back home for three months, or maybe you have somehow saved enough money to have a white-knuckle penniless ride through JJA (that’s June, July, and August in climate-speak). However, did you know that there are numerous routes to funding your summer, while doing something you love AND forwarding your career?! We have listed some traditional and non-conventional methods here.
Summer ‘tis the season of studies from geology to ornithology and everything in between. I study wild berry species to try to find what environmental factors have the strongest influence on berry productivity. With no other wild fruits in Alaska, berries are an important natural and cultural resource, one that is becoming increasingly variable.
Looking back over the last ~10 years, it’s been a joy to be a scientist. I get to explore questions of interest to me and help climate science be useable. Scientific communities are critical to society, so it’s important that they be trusted. It’s an interesting time to be involved in the study of climate, particularly from my perspective. I happen to be something most might think a contradiction. I am a climatologist, but I am also politically conservative. I have some remarks from my (sometimes awkward) perspective.
Many of us have taken up the noble cause of communicating our science to nonscientists. Casting ourselves as the heroes, it’s important to remember, however, that even the best of intentions sometimes have a way of resulting in unintended consequences. In the original Star Trek, a young Captain Kirk of the USS Enterprise rescues a ship full of super-humans in suspended animation with their life-support on the verge of failure. In return for his good deed, Khan Noonien Signh and the other superhumans whose lives he saved turned out to be one of the Enterprise’s most dangerous adversaries.
The past three months have been the most hectic for me in quite awhile. In August, I started on the final stages of my dissertation, putting everything together to finish my Ph.D. All of it culminated right at the end of October with my defense. Thankfully for me everything came together, and I passed!! Yes, I was nervous and stressed out (and occasionally frustrated) in the weeks prior to my defense, but I didn’t lose my sanity. What got me through it? Three things: balance, support, and perspective.