One day when I was procrastinating (yes, even scientists sometimes procrastinate), I looked through my previous blog posts. It is pretty amazing to see the growth and development of my science and my education since September 2013.
As it is the month of Thanksgiving, I will list some reasons I am thankful I am a scientist:
1) The cool places you get to visit. I really enjoy visiting my field sites all over the eastern United States. It has also been great to visit sites for research side projects (i.e. the Climate Change research I helped with in Alaska). Talking to people that have the career that I want, it is exciting to hear where they get to travel for work (ex. Mongolia, China, etc.). That type of travel is rare in a job, except for business career paths, I suppose. The photos on the side of this blog post are pictures from my travels to Alaska. My work this time of year is very computer focused, so I thought some photos of the great outdoors might make it interesting.
2) The great people I have been able to meet. The Phipps Botany in Action Fellows/staff have been an inspiration to me... often, I find myself talking about their work to other people. My lab mate, Jen Chandler, is such a driven and exceptional scientist, as well as a great friend. I recently reviewed a paper my advisor is writing. His skill is astounding, and overwhelming. The field is filled with brilliant and passionate people.
Some of the conversation I have overheard at different events is amazing. Once, in Alaska, I overheard the current president of the Ecological Society of America talking to another scientist. They were having an in-depth conversation about how many people would be able to exist in a world where everyone was a hunter/gatherer. Conversations can be like 'mini-lectures' and you walk away with a better understanding of the world around you.
3) The flexibility of it all, I have the best of both worlds. I spend my summers outdoors, and my winters indoors.
4) My work will hopefully make a difference. With my outreach, I hope that I at least spark a conversation about conservation. My research may be used to help keep ginseng from going extinct. It is nice to feel like you are fighting the good fight.
Jessica B. Turner's