Three weeks ago I passed my general exams (aka comprehensive exams or preliminary exams). It’s something Ph.D. students must successfully accomplish before advancing to candidacy, but achieving it requires more than just knowing stuff. Here, I would like to share my experience and maybe give some tips to everyone who still has to climb this mountain.
climate science center
Every 10 years, State natural resource agencies review the health (or decline) of their fish, wildlife, and associated habitats. They take a proactive approach, thinking carefully about the priorities, challenges, and actions they would like to accomplish during the coming decade.
Before doctoral students can embark on their research journey they have to pass a general exam, a one-week torture chamber to prove they know all about the methods and fields of science they will touch upon in their upcoming research. My research at the South Central Climate Science Center covers agriculture, climate modeling, statistics, GIS, and social science, so there’s lots to learn, and some of these fields don’t overlap a lot in their methods or language, to say the least.
Conservation organizations working to conserve species and their habitats are faced with many challenges at present: shrinking financial resources, a burgeoning human population, and highly unpredictable threats such as climate change. The nationwide network of Landscape Conservation Cooperatives, or LCCs, emerged in response to this uniquely challenging moment in the history of conservation. There are 22 LCCs in the US, and together they encompass its entire geography.
This post is a collaborative effort drawing from the attendees of the 2nd Annual Northeast Climate Science Center Fellows Retreat that took place in the Mark Twain National Forest in southern Missouri in 2014. The Early Career Climate Forum developed a module that charged the fellows to consider outreach and communication with a wide range of audiences and, in particular, to generate a blog post reflecting on their interactions with natural resource managers during retreat activities. Below, is a summary of their collective work.
Climate change threatens our lands and seas, our wildlife, and our natural and cultural resources. To conserve our natural environment, managers rely on climate model projections to determine where to take action, what type of action to take, and how much action to apply. Ecologists and biologists depend on these projections to better understand how natural ecosystems will respond to the changing climate.
This morning I’m sitting on my porch with my computer in my lap, sipping coffee from my Star Trek mug and enjoying the beautiful morning sky. I’m staring out over a temperate deciduous forest surrounding a beautiful lake, all beneath patches of clouds, the blue sky, and a faint moon descending over the horizon. What makes this even better is that I am near the middle of downtown Raleigh, NC surrounded by urban habitat and you can’t tell (at least not from this view).
The restored stone walls of two ancient heiau (Hawaiian temples) rise black and strong out of the gentle waves of the Kona Coast. Large rocks sit farther out in the sea, and coastal plants and bushes spread along the tops of the dunes and farther back, behind the great stone structures. Small groups of university students can be seen peering into the tidal pools, snorkeling among the waves, and gesturing toward plants on the beaches while making notes on data sheets and comparing observations.
The Early Career Climate Forum (ECCF) was started about two and a half years ago, in December 2012. After a small group of students and post-docs attended a great early career training hosted by the Northwest Climate Science Center.The ECCF was a means to stay connected, to expand our network, and to share research ideas and experiences in graduate school or in our professional careers. Soon we learned that there was an actual need for an online forum like ECCF and won support from USGS and the Climate Science Center (CSC) network.
Welcome to the new and improved Early Career Climate Forum (ECCF)! We (Michelle Staudinger, Science Coordinator of the Northeast Climate Science Center and Ezra Markowitz, Assistant Professor in the Department of Environmental Conservation at UMass Amherst) are excited to get things kicked off after a 6-month overhaul of the ECCF; a process that has involved a complete redesign of the ECCF website as well as the development of new tools to foster and support easier exchange of ideas, advice and resources among ECCF members.