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.
My interest in understanding the biological, cultural, and historical context of the human experience started at a very young age, and continues to this day. I am an environmental anthropologist, and currently an NC CSC fellow and PhD student in Ecology at Colorado State University. My training has been broad, and has allowed me to work in very different systems. I started down my career path working in Central Asia to understand the late Pleistocene biogeography of humans and Neanderthals during glacial and interglacial periods.
So, we’re in graduate school, ready to throw ourselves into a new chapter of life as “early career scientists.” Now what? We’re in a new world with endless possibilities and unknown limits - where do we even begin?
My first year in Fairbanks, AK I worked as a technician at the University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF) and spent much of the first few weeks of the academic year pestering any natural sciences professor that would listen to me.
“I don’t have any funding - come back with a question and maybe we can figure something out.”
On November 2nd and 3rd, the first ever National CSC Early Career Training was held at UMass Amherst. Over 2-days, students from across the U.S. heard about peer reserach ranging from butterflies in North Carolina, paleoclimatology along the Gulf Coast, to how wild berries are impacted by fire regimes in Alaska, along with so much more. In case you missed it, Andrew Battles wrote a short summary a few weeks ago.
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.
Last week, I attended the National CSC Student and Early Career Training held at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, and left feeling inspired, empowered, and with many new friends. From November 2-3rd, students, postdocs, and professionals from the Department of the Interior’s National Climate Science Centers came together to share research, learn from one another, and improve our skills as collaborators and science communicators.
In early November, the Northeast Climate Science Center will host the first ever National CSC Student and Early Career Training at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.
After working outside of academia for eight years I decided to earn a graduate degree. In my first year back to school I was encouraged to apply for the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP). The GRFP is a prestigious award for graduate students providing a stipend and cost of education funds for three years. Practically speaking, it enables students to focus on research instead of how to pay their bills.
Earlier this year, I wrote an ECCF blog about a fall semester undergraduate class at the University of Oklahoma (OU) that taught students about climate science, the impacts of climate change, and that gave them a look behind the scenes of the climate negotiations at the Paris COP21 meeting last December. Well, I’m happy to report that this fall this class is back — and it’s gotten even better.
As March comes to a close, we have once again celebrated the many contributions of women to society. For many of us conducting research at the Climate Science Centers and partner institutions, women who have made tremendous strides in our various scientific fields like Marie Curie, Rachel Carson and Jane Goodall, come to mind.