Charting the Course!
"Charting the Course with Perseverance"....such a fitting theme that captures so much about my non-traditional journey into STEM. From being told that I shouldn't pursue wildlife science as an incoming freshman, to being overlooked in company meetings because I didn't look like your "typical" engineer. Perseverance has been front and center at every step of my journey to reach this point.
At this year's National Marine Educator's Association (NMEA) conference, I had the chance to share this story and more with the educators and youth in attendance. This conference brings educators together from across the country that share a love and passion for educating in the Marine Science fields. Complete with workshops, speaking engagements, and field trips - attendees had the amazing chance to learn and connect with their peers. It was such a joy seeing the enthusiasm in all of them, and hear the stories about their successes and trials in teaching our youth.
In my presentation, I was able to not only discuss the importance of representation in STEM, but also highlight my life changing trip on board the E/V Nautilus last year as part of the Science Communication team. Being able to share this marine journey was so refreshing, and reiterated why the work of these educators in marine fields was so profound. This year NMEA also incorporated a youth portion of the conference, and had local youth attending various sessions. They had the opportunity to explore the campus, check out some laboratories, and get hands-on with some outdoor science events as well. After my session, I had the pleasure of connecting with a few of them, and instill some extra words of encouragement.
I couldn't be any more thankful to the entire team for their warm welcome, and including me immediately as part of the family. Looking forward to supporting more of our marine educators and spreading the word about this amazing organization!