Over the past year I have made an effort to connect with the public regarding my research. The project was featured on the front page of a number of Virginia newspapers, informing hundreds of people about my work and why I’m striving to protect rattlesnakes (http://www.roanoke.com/news/local/roanoke/student-scientist-using-gps-technology-to-track-snakes-in-blue/article_59e1a656-c028-53a0-88ae-98cc2519415d.html).
I’ve also had the opportunity to give numerous presentations on my work to a diverse set of groups, including The Center for Lifelong Learning Program at The Phoebe Needles Center, The Izaak Walton League August County Chapter, The St. Paul’s Men’s Group in Salem, VA, and the Sierra Club of Roanoke.At the end of the day, this work is some of the most fulfilling to me.
Over the last year I’ve had numerous people tell me that they no longer kill snakes. In many ways, this sums up the purpose and meaning underlying what I do. Through my research I am pursuing scientific questions, but I have also come to see how scientific knowledge is often removed from public understanding. In my view, science should not be conducted in isolation, rather it should be integrated with a broader understanding of the world, and made accessible for people fromall walks of life. This is a large part of my mission.
I am still doing presentations and other types of outreach regularly, and am always looking for more opportunities to share my work and passion with people. If you would like to arrange for a presentation or a meeting please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss plans further!