This month has been busy. I was accepted to present my research as an oral presentation at the Society for Conservation Biology meeting in Missoula, Montana this summer. I have been hard at work analyzing my data, asking new questions, and working on explaining the results. Having a set date to present my research will provide extra motivation for me to develop a comprehensive explanation about the best location for ginseng reintroduction.
In addition, we are gearing up for summer and field research! We have been interviewing potential interns for our summer work. I enjoy this step because it really reminds me of my experiances as a young scientist. One of the most influential individuals I have met occurred when I was a 16 year-old kid. I met Dr. Nicole Cavendar (who was at The Wilds and is now the Vice President of Science and Conservation at The Morton Arboretum) when I was at a summer camp at The Wilds. She was head of Restoration Ecology, and she let me shadow her. Eventually she helped me obtain an internship in various departments at The Wilds. Through this opportunity, I not only discovered my future career path, but I was able to connect with intelligent, personable people who are experts in their field, and learn about conservation biology. These few years are undoubtably one of the reasons I am where I am today. Interviewing these undergrads remind me of how exciting it was to start a new job, and have a new opportunity to learn about how this big wide world works.