I attended Stony Brook University for undergrad and majored in Marine Vertebrate Biology. I started the MCP program 2 years after finishing my Bachelor’s. I stayed involved with my undergraduate research lab, which looked into sea turtle diet around Long Island, and went to a few conferences to present a poster on our results. I also traveled, worked full time, and stayed involved through other volunteer opportunities. I got to assist with humpback whale research in Puerto Rico, became a whale watch volunteer on cruises out of Montauk, was a field assistant for the horseshoe crab monitoring network through Cornell Cooperative Extension. I decided to pursue a graduate degree in marine conservation in policy because I missed being immersed in the marine conservation community. Even though I still stayed involved in the field, I felt disconnected from current conservation issues and had trouble landing a full-time job without a master’s. Also, I was unsure of what I would want to research if I were to apply for an M.S., and still had interests in the outreach and education part of marine conservation. Since my interests are broad, I think the MCP program is a good fit for me. I don’t have any specific career goals in mind after graduation. I would be happy to work for a non-profit or maybe work in a government position, either helping with field work and/or with public outreach. Again, my interests are broad, so helping with any marine environment issue is fulfilling to me. My words of wisdom for anyone considering this program are: whether you’re an arts major, environmental scientist, or journalist looking to get more involved in solving marine conservation issues, this is a perfect opportunity to dive into that. This program will give you the connections and knowledge you need in a short amount of time. However, if you come from a science background and want to continue doing scientific research, this program is probably not for you. I am particularly curious about human perception of conservation. Why are some of us inspired to make a difference and others are not? Why do we burn so many fossil fuels, or create so much trash from single-use items, as if there are no consequences?
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