I just got home from an amazing 2-weeks in Kenya! I got to tag along and support Dr. Steve Lougheed as he taught a field course "Biodiversity and Conservation in East Africa".
The students kept a blog during the trip that you can read here: http://kenya2018.sclougheed.ca/blog/
Long story short, it was a fantastic experience. I got to see a master field course instructor in action, and believe me, I was taking notes. It is now my dream to be able to share this kind of experience with students when I get to teach my own field courses!
This past week I had the amazing opportunity to take a break from normal science life and step into the world of science policy!
Science Outside the Lab North is a one-week intensive programme that brings together early career scientists (broadly defined) from across Canada to spend a week in Ottawa and Montreal learning the basics and not-so-basics of science policy in Canada. We spent the week meeting with folks working in policy from all angles, including those from government agencies, think-tanks, NGOs and academia.
My eyes were opened to how government really works, how policy is made and how policy directions are decided upon. Was it a 100% uplifting experience? No. But I learned a lot that will help me in the future to ensure that my work in conservation will have impact.
Plus, I made a bunch of amazing new friends working across fields that have this one thing in common: we all are determined to make a positive difference in the world using our science.
A week well spent!