What have I been up to?

I graduated from college in December. About a month-and-a-half have passed since I finished. What have I been up to?

1. Applying to Graduate Schools

This is my number one priority right now — getting into a Master’s or PhD program! (McNair Scholars are prepared to apply straight to PhD programs, but since my background is in education and I’m applying to [mostly] science programs, I am probably going for a master’s and then maybe a PhD later… Whatever will allow me to stay in academia the longest.)

I applied to a single graduate program at the University of Michigan (it’s the Behavior, Education and Communication program in the School of Natural Resources and Environment). I hope to hear back by April. If I get accepted *and* at least some funding, that’s where I hope to be in the fall.

I also want to apply to Michigan State, University of Maryland, and Cornell (yes, I’d be trying my luck with the last one).

If I can figure out how, maybe I’ll also try applying to Master’s Programs abroad. I wouldn’t mind relocating to another country for 2 or 3 years.

2. Building up my  internship project

I am working part time for Michigan State University building up the internship project I did in Fall 2009. My advisor and I are making an activity book for 3rd grade classrooms to use in the field. Here’s a draft of a sample page:

We are also making a bug guide for the fields, and reformatting the 20-page booklet that goes with the walking tour.

3. Random Stuff at UMD/RRBO

I am working with the center director to design a big, informational sign for the EIC rain garden. It should be installed by March/April.

Another thing on the horizon is writing a grant for RRBO. If we get the grant, I can get hired to do some education/outreach work for the RRBO (mostly making a new exhibit for the EIC lobby). I’m really excited about this!

My colleague Kristen and I have also planned the Wolf Conservation Science Cafe taking place at the EIC this Thursday, February 9th. We’ll have three guest speakers, including one from the DNR, coming out to educate us about wolf ecology and conservation issues in Michigan. Wolves aren’t very relevant to conservation issues in southeast Michigan, but they are the campus mascot and do attract a lot of attention (positive and negative). Because of that, we think that they were a good species to use for our Winter 2012 kickoff event.

4. Conservation Education 

I was recently introduced to a professor on the UMD campus who is extremely interested in conservation education. She shares my interest in using animals/ecology to connect students across borders. She has already introduced me to two important people — a conservation educator from the National Zoo, and an artist who illustrates for conservation-focused children’s books. A plan for ourselves is forthcoming.

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