Mentorship, outreach, and teaching are core components of my approach to science and conservation.
Please email me with any outreach opportunities, ideas, or questions about how to get involved!
I have served as a mentor to undergraduate students and recent graduates at NC State and in Antigua 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 undergraduates interested in getting involved in my research to please email me!
Fulbright Fellowship Project
From January to August, 2018, I completed a Fulbright Fellowship in Antigua that focused heavily on outreach. The Fulbright program strongly emphasizes civic engagement in the research projects that they fund, so it was an opportunity to integrate outreach, education, and community involvement into my research. My activities went as far as appearances on the local television network and a radio station. My Fulbright outreach work has proven to be a building block toward continuing relationships that I aim to maintain well beyond 2018.
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 conservation and environmental awareness module designed to get young students thinking about science and conservation. I traveled throughout the country and gave presentations in science classroom settings focused on the importance of marine conservation.
Environmental Education —
While in Antigua working with the Jumby Bay Hawksbill Project (JBHP) in Antigua, I frequently participate in outreach and education with varied groups of participants. We complete activities such as presentations at primary schools and children’s summer camps, 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. These are often some of the most rewarding experiences while working in the field. 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 sea turtle nesting field research exchange opportunities with volunteers 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.
I worked as a Teaching Assistant for my first two years of graduate school. I was a lab instructor for Ecology, entailing two weekly sections featuring observational and experimental studies, often off campus. The lab curriculum involves 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. I learned about myself as a teacher and communicator as I developed from my 1st to 4th semester, and am still working with some of my former students in mentorship or collaborative capacities – including assisting with employment searches post-graduation and writing reference letters. I hope to continue to teach in some capacity as I progress through my career.
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.