Ecologists: We do it in the field… and in the lab
“Don’t aim for success if you want it; just do what you love and believe in, and it will come naturally.”
To be an educator or not to be an educator, that tis the question. Whether tis nobler in academia to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous pedagogy, or to take arms against a sea of troubles, and by opposing, end them? Whilst working on my Masters degree in Environmental Science at UCD, I learned an enormous amount about all aspects of science, including: risk, engineering, policy, conflict, chemistry, biology, geology, statistics and most importantly, education. I anticipate sharing this wisdom and love for the sciences with others, in the most affective manner possible, which is why I am pursuing a career in academia. After receiving my PhD in Biological Education, I anticipate aiding others as they take a similar journey to mine, one of discovery and enlightenment. Some people feel that by the time an individual reaches university they know who they are, but I believe it is the exact opposite. It is actually an age of unearthing knowledge and purpose. Those peoples’ deepest beliefs, values and understandings can be altered and my hope is to give them the tools they need to become scientifically literate individuals.
An educator does not leave his or her work in the classroom. One can anticipate a life of academic networking, daily review of science articles and papers, attending conferences, researching and, my personal favorite, making innovative discoveries and contributions to the field of science. It is vital that we, as scientists and educators, fuse our labors for the sake of progression. One of my utmost aspirations is to aid in the shift of our educational paradigm. It is my belief that our science education system is evolving from one filled with standardized exams and rigorous test preparation to a system founded on qualitative assessment and critical thinking. My hope is to become established at a university that values, not only pedagogy, but also integration of the sciences: biology, chemistry, earth and atmospheric sciences. An esoteric program filled with specialists who educate to subsidize their research and who cannot see the forest for the trees, is not for me. My diverse interests, life and educational experiences have given me a unique lens through which I see the world. This, joined with my innate desire to see others grow and succeed, is an efficacious combination.
The title of the blog, To See Science, takes me back to an introductory physics course at the University of Southern Illinois, where I first understood the mechanism behind the compound lens. Many simple elements came together sharing a common axis, but varying in shape, structure and refractive indices. A slight change in a single lens curvature and the image is radically different. I can feel my lens as it changes, and although at times everything seems blurry and confusing, I anticipate these new curvatures and angles, which will beget a new clarity.