Understanding and solving problems related to sustainability is facilitated by communication across multiple disciplines and with non-academics. As a Graham Sustainability Institute Fellow, I was on the founding editorial board and co-editor-in-chief of a new journal that provides the latest in sustainability research in a format understandable to academics, practitioners, and policymakers.
In 2013, we launched the first issue of our open-access, peer-reviewed journal. Our articles focus on systemic problems at the human-environment interface, including those related to freshwater systems, livable communities, and responses to climate variability and change.
You can read articles from our latest issue at our website.
As academics, we are in a unique situation of understanding nuances of complex problems and having opportunities to engage in advancements in science and technology that have larger social implications. The Association of Ecosystem Research Centers organizes a workshop that trains scientists in how to communicate with media and decision-makers.
During this workshop, I learned how to craft a compelling message that registers for an audience and then had the chance to use it the next day! It was really rewarding to meet with Democratic and Republican Congressional staffers from Michigan and explain why providing funding for ecosystem research matters.
Mentoring is a great way to encourage interdisciplinary thinking in the next generation of academics, decision-makers, and entrepreneurs so they are prepared to tackle the world’s “wicked” problems.
I had great undergraduate research experiences at Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, Harvard Forest, and NOAA and was happy to be a co-mentor for the University of Michigan Biological Station REU during my last dissertation field season. I have also mentored for the University of Michigan BioKIDS program and facilitated my department’s first year graduate student mentoring program.
If you are at the University of Michigan and looking for occasional opportunities to volunteer, I have enjoyed being a judge for the Southeast Michigan Science Fair and being a group leader for Females Excelling More in Math, Engineering, and the Sciences capstone workshops.
Interactive classes help students learn how and why biomes differ in diversity and climate and how their interactions shape our environment. At the University of Michigan, I focused on teaching these themes as a graduate student instructor for the following courses:
- Bio 171: Introduction to Ecology and Evolution
- EARTH 331: Climate and Climate Change
- ENVIRON 110: Global Change Biology
I also mentored first semester graduate student instructors and undergraduate teaching assistants, and received a Graduate Teacher Certificate through the University of Michigan Center for Research on Learning & Technology.