Marine science has always been a field in which I could simultaneously explore and learn. Beginning at a young age, I would spend my summers searching for crabs and snails in shallow tide pools.
My passion for marine life is what drove me to sign up for the Girls in Science Fellowship. This experience reinforced my interest in marine science, while also introducing me to new ideas and people.
With the help of the lead scientists, the other fellows and I worked to identify dolphin whistles within different data sets. I’ve always been a very hands-on person, but to my surprise I was highly invested in data analysis and in the end I really enjoyed the process.
Dolphin whistles and overall ocean noise was a topic that was new to me but when we reflected on the relevance of what we studied, I felt the importance of our contributions and the work we were doing. This was an extremely fulfilling and inspirational feeling.
Beyond the data, we learned about the intersections between identity, science, and society. We learned about the importance of storytelling and shared the paths that each of us took to get to this fellowship. We all learned the importance of letting our voices and our stories be heard within the scientific community, and we were reassured that we had a strong support system from all of these women in science.
I learned the importance of networking through the dinners we spent with different professional and graduate student scientists. These meetings exposed me to different available paths to take in continuing my education and getting a job. I learned that it is okay for my life plans to change even when I reach college, and it's okay if what I want to do now is not the same as what I want to do for the rest of my life.
This program encouraged me to consider graduate school, which was not previously on my radar. Most importantly, because of this experience I was able to create strong friendships. I met some of my best friends during this time. I still hang out with some of the other fellows on the weekends. I'm glad to have met other girls who are motivated and interested in careers in science. I was inspired by working with other women who were not scared to insert themselves into a male-dominated field.
This experience motivated me to continue my own research and invest further in my passion for science.