UPDATE!!!! I GOT IN!!!!! GO ECOLOGY!!!!!!!!!
I wish to join an ecology lab as a graduate student at CSU Fresno to take advantage of the school’s well-designed graduate program and opportunities to be involved in important ecological research. The San Joaquin River Restoration Program, which focuses on a stretch of the river near Fresno, will provide many opportunities for ecological research as Chinook Salmon are reintroduced over the next several years. Some exciting prospects for study in this system are how restoration will impact communities of invertebrates, and potential effects of established predatory species on populations of salmon. I am curious how the lake-like features (due to large in-channel mining pits) of the river may create unique biological effects. The biology faculty’s ecological expertise will make it feasible for me to learn appropriate techniques to pursue these projects. I have the scientific skills to succeed at this task, because, as an undergraduate at CSU Fresno, I completed the school’s core biology curriculum, and after graduation, I served on internships to improve the safety of homeowners in fire-adapted ecosystems, and worked on a field science program for a local school. I am currently a supervisor at a shipping company where I coordinate the work of a team of 6-10 people. I have also managed, created and performed in theater productions and delivered educational programs in zoos, schools, and employment centers, occasionally participating in research to improve these programs. This project management experience will contribute to my success as a graduate student. My contacts with the faculty and students in the graduate program at CSU Fresno have assured me the program will give me opportunities for mentorship, collaboration, and teaching experience. I would fit well in this environment because my avocational interests have given me a collaborative approach to work. Teaching and the performing arts has taught me to accept criticism gratefully and deliver it considerately, and through performing I have learned the value of healthy competition to get better roles and news write-ups. I wish to complete an ecological research project so I can depict science accurately in my anticipated career as science educator in a museum or aquarium. Museums are valuable to the sciences because they can provide memorable, exciting experiences that encourage a positive view of science, and doing a substantial research project will let me share an accurate account of how real science gets done. The presence of an active aquarium society in Fresno is an added bonus, as I will be able to make contacts that will help me secure employment after graduation. I am excited to apply to CSU Fresno at this moment since I am certain to find opportunities to do basic science and to be involved in an important applied-ecology project in the San Joaquin River Restoration Program.