I wish most for my career to advance the popularity and public understanding of science. Pursuing a graduate degree is critical to my main goal because I must be able to knowledgably discuss the process of science, and the research experience I will get from graduate study will enable me to do so. I intend to continue my outreach to improve public scientific literacy while I pursue my degree, and I am applying for a scholarship so I can focus more exclusively on them. My secondary career goals include making a decent living and becoming a skillful manager, and I hope a scholarship will also free me to take opportunities to prepare for post-graduate life more fully.
My most important career goal is to increase the public understanding of science. I have an extensive background engaging the public in scientific discussions that speaks to my potential to do so. I have delivered lectures to museum patrons, conducted door-to-door education campaigns, coordinated a curriculum improvement program for field science, and written blog posts intended to deepen appreciation of the natural world. I need further experience conducting research in order to represent science more accurately, and only a graduate program can afford the opportunities for self-directed research, scientific mentorship, and the credential of a degree. I intend to use my new skills and certification to improve science programs in public institutions, or to work as a government scientist and pursue outreach on the side.
While pursuing my master’s degree I intend to become involved in Fresno’s scientific community. The project I hope to work on is related to the restoration of the San Joaquin River and will be highly interesting to the public. I have begun to reach out to Fresno-area stakeholders, such as the Aquarius Aquarium Institute, which is raising funds to build a public aquarium in Fresno. I also intend to continue posting on my blog about the imaginative and social elements of biology. I believe that the emerging social media culture, especially the vibrant online science community, could be wedded to the existing museum community to advance the popularity of science.
I want to be rewarded for my work with a decent salary and opportunities to grow as a manager. I believe that a master’s degree, along with my extensive life experience, will allow me to move into a management-level position at a natural science museum, public aquarium, or government-run nature center after graduation. As I continue to innovate ways to bring science to the public, I wish to grow in my responsibility as a manager and coordinate the activities of a team of educators. I am aware that even management-level positions in museums are under-compensated relative to other professionals with similar experience, and I am prepared to consider work as a government scientist to support my other activities. This would provide a good living and allow me to continue to learn about biology and provide public service.
I sincerely appreciate the opportunity to apply for a scholarship to support my master’s degree work. I believe that my biography provides evidence that I am committed to increasing the public’s engagement with science. I am committed to completing a rigorous scientific research program in my chosen field of ecology so that I can speak authoritatively about it and to join the ranks of scientists who believe in the value of public engagement. I wish to benefit society and satisfy my need for intellectual challenge at the same time as earning an adequate salary and improving my management skills, and I am applying for a scholarship so I would have more freedom to apply myself to these goals.