Influenced by my past, I make service opportunities an important part of my life. I learned that education is empowering and allows us to pass the power along to others. I am particularly drawn to serve others by working to improve the environment and by educating others on the importance of sustainability and conservation. I have a proven track record of active and innovative education in and out of a classroom. I have also been successful in encouraging others to get involved either physically or financially in environmental initiatives and research. One notable example was at the end of my undergraduate career, I coordinated Ohio Wesleyan’s first annual Earth Fest: a music and arts festival that promoted environmental awareness. Half of the raised funds went to aid in natural disaster relief in Haiti, and the other half went to beginning a revolving environmental fund at Ohio Wesleyan.
Mentorship: The emphasis in my mentorship is on the students designing and implementing their own research projects. The development of writing skills, scientific inquiry frameworks, fundamental research techniques, and dissemination abilities are also important. I work closely with the students that I mentor in all areas: writing a personal statement and curriculum vitae; reading and discussing primary literature; teaching field and laboratory techniques; and exploring and applying to graduate schools, grants, and internships.
To date, I have mentored 11 undergraduates and 2 masters students, all with their own independent research projects. All of the undergraduates that I mentored thus far have received accolades of their own, including four of them being recognized with Outstanding Poster at the Governor’s Conference on the Future of Water in Kansas. I have extensive experience leading initiatives that create opportunities for student researchers, which has led to me being awarded the KU Women of Distinction Award for humanitarian in science, as well as the KU Undergraduate Research Mentor Award.
K-12 Outreach and Education: I am dedicated to helping others learn and training the next generation of scientists. I dedicate my spare time to promoting conservation, spending years as a coordinator and active participant in countless Elementary School Science Events and Women in Science Events. For 5 years, I was also a core member of the team responsible for Science Saturdays at the University of Kansas Biodiversity Institute and Natural History Museum.
International Synergistic Activities: I have experience coordinating a global freshwater research project, involving twelve PI´s from the USA, Mongolia, Germany, and Canada. I am a peer reviewer for countless journals. I have been involved with Dam Removal Europe (DRE), as a speaker and conference organizer, promoting free-flowing rivers throughout Europe, a task the requires collaborations between industry and science. As a board member of the Society for Conservation Biology Freshwater Working Group and one of the Summer School organizers for the Freshwater Theme, International Research School in Applied Ecology (IRSAE), I try to reach as many people as possible, spreading my love and passion for the planet´s freshwater ecosystems.