Please, ask me questions! I need to know if ENV SCI is right for me as a prospective grad student (and ultimately, career-wise).

Please, ask me questions! I need to know if ENV SCI is right for me as a prospective grad student (and ultimately, career-wise).

Evergreen College in Olympia, WA has a Masters of Environmental Studies program. Deadline to apply is approx one month from now. I’ve thought about it, over and over, and seek some input from others if it’s right for me (I have posted here before). Some things I like about the program: it’s largely interdiscplinary, giving you several different angles on how these environmental issues are interconnected between different orgs & individuals. It also allows for a good amount of independent work, where students can work with faculty to answer their own Q’s. It’s relatively cheap and flexible.

I graduated with a B.A. in East Asian Studies (Japanese semi-fluency) 7 years ago; my background in science is minimal. Over the last 1.5 years I’ve done a little avian ecology work, volunteered for the Audubon, zoo, etc. Nothing super immersive other than the 1-month internship in Ecuador for avian ecology.

Here’s what I know: a lot of my interest in this field revolves around Animal Behavior. I also think birds are pretty fascinating (certainly some overlap here). I also consider myself a realist — Global Warming + declining animal species counts really alarm me, and I find it likely that I would get a lot more fulfillment in working towards these real issues than something like sports analytics (last 3 years), which in fact, doesn’t matter outside of the tiny world that it operates within. I know that I’m good at asking the right questions, have a pretty good ear/eye in the field, and would also be interested in doing some collaborative work between US-JPN as it might involve a bi-lingual component.

Here’s what I also know, leading to some dissonance: I’ve never been naturally keen on hiking or camping, esp. alone. Nature walks never intrigued me until I started taking an interest in birds. Science courses never grabbed me growing up, and I spent most of my years in school coasting, incl. college (I did earnestly learn when studying abroad). I think it’s important for me, in general, to have a decent amount of balance, so spending all my time in the field doing point counts or all my time with an excel sheet in an office would both get to me. I may want to limit my collegiate and professional experiences to WA state, at least as much as possible. I’m also not sure that focusing on just avian conservation would sit right with me, as there are so many other organisms in dire need of assistance right now.

Any questions like: “are you willing to ____? Do you enjoy ___? What are you hoping for with ____?” may ultimately help in my decision.



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