Mentorship, Education, & Engagement



Mentorship, education, and community engagement are core components of my approach to science and conservation.

Please email me with any opportunities, ideas, or questions about how to get involved!



Mentorship

I have served as a mentor to >15 undergraduate students and recent graduates in various capacities such as field and lab work, providing edits on proposals, and writing recommendation letters. As a teaching assistant I mentored five undergraduate junior teaching assistants, and I have also served as the research mentor for NC State students pursuing a minor in Applied Ecology. Some of my mentees have moved on to professional positions or graduate school, and these collaborations have also resulted in coauthorship on publications. I encourage any students interested in getting involved in my research to email me!

 


Fulbright Fellowship Project

From January to August, 2018, I completed a Fulbright Fellowship in Antigua that focused heavily on community engagement. The Fulbright program strongly emphasizes civic engagement in the research projects that they fund, so it was an opportunity to bolster this component of my research program. My activities went as far as appearances on the local television network and a radio station. My Fulbright work has proven to be a building block toward continuing relationships.

My efforts were focused in a threefold approach:

  • Coordination of a science and conservation seminar series with collaborators at Antigua State College, the Department of Environment, the Antigua Awareness Group, and the general public. Local and international speakers presented work on diverse subjects at the Museum of Antigua and Barbuda monthly.

  • Collaborations with students for sea turtle field research. Antiguan students assisted with leatherback patrols and saw some massive nesting turtles, and I coordinated three internships for hawksbill nesting monitoring in Barbuda.
  • Primary and secondary school visits with a marine conservation and environmental awareness educational module. I traveled throughout the country and gave presentations in science classroom settings.

 


Informal Education

Environmental Education —

While working with the Jumby Bay Hawksbill Project (JBHP) in Antigua, I frequently participate in educational activities with varied groups of participants. Activities range from presentations at primary schools and children’s summer camps, to weekly “Turtle Tuesday” children’s education at a nearby resort, and frequent first-hand turtle nesting experiences in the field (“turtle watches”) with Antiguans and tourists. I also welcome outreach opportunities in the Raleigh-Durham area. For example, I have talked to the Envirothon Club at Margaret B. Pollard Middle School.

 

Field Training Exchanges —

With the JBHP I have participated in multiple field research exchange opportunities with researchers from local collaborating projects. These collaborations are productive for greater conservation goals in Antigua and Barbuda, and are a great way to both learn and pass on information.


Teaching

I worked as a Teaching Assistant for my first four semesters of graduate school. I was a lab instructor for Ecology, entailing two weekly sections featuring observational and experimental studies. The lab curriculum involved outdoor, hands-on learning where students actively collect data, analyze it, and make conclusions. I was honored to receive NC State University’s “Recognition for Excellence in Laboratory Teaching” award in 2016.

 

Additionally, I give guest lectures when I have the opportunity. These have included lectures at the University of New Hampshire, NC State, and Antigua State College.