Sometimes, everything falls into place.
I only ever wanted to be one thing when I grew up: a scientist. It took different shapes – a veterinarian, a primatologist, a wildlife photographer. There were various paths, but they all stemmed from a single desire: to understand anything and everything about the world around me; to make sense of mysteries and share them with others.
The decision to leave science for science communication wasn’t an easy one, but it was an inevitable one. For every hour I spent in the lab, I spent two more pouring over media coverage of science, reading blogs and popular science and anything I could get my hands on. I never realized communicating science was something I could do. I assumed the door was locked, and never thought to open it. And then one day, a friend said something like “hey, you’d be good at that!” (It was anticlimactic, as eureka moments usually are.)
And she was right. So like everything else in my life, I threw myself in that direction with reckless abandon.
I graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Biology from Clark University in 2012. I started volunteering at the New England Aquarium, first as an aquarist and later as an educator. Eventually, they were crazy enough to hire me. The Boston Museum of Science wasn’t far behind. Over the next three years, I explored almost every avenue for communications museums and zoos have to offer. I worked in traveling programs, designed rotating content, interpreted, gave live presentations, and managed and trained volunteers. I spoke about climate change and heart disease, cephalopod and hominid intelligence. I worked seven days a week and never stopped moving.
It was amazing, a whirlwind. I sometimes still miss the adrenaline and even the bone-deep exhaustion that comes from pursuing something you love with your entire being. Museums are amazing, but it was time to try something new. I’ve always loved writing – it’s time to come back to my roots.
I’m an alumni of the graduate program in science communication at UC Santa Cruz. I’ve worked as an intern at the Salinas Californian, Big Picture Science, and Inside Science News Service. Currently, I write for the National Institute of General Medical Sciences, and this fall I’l be an intern at NPR.
For the first time in my life, I don’t know what’s going to happen next. It’s amazing.