AUDIENCE QUESTIONS for KELLEN MARSHALL from H.e.a.r. Chicago Talk, February 2015

Kellen Marshall is a PhD Candidate in the Ecology & Evolutionary Biology 
A slide from Kellen's presentation
Department at UIC and the director of research at Eden Place Nature Center. She presented via video some of her research on the gap between educational and experiential requirements typical of  conservation careers, and corresponding paths typically taken by Black students. 

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Questions about the role of various entities in closing the gaps
  • Is it a question of money (salary)? --turning internships into real paying jobs?
  • Does making science courses and content more concrete or applicable to personal and community life help?
  • Where does the state or federal or fill-in-the-blank government fit in to solving this dilemma?
  • When and how can and must this effort start in order to substantially increase success? High school? Middle school? Elementary?
  • Do you think higher education is offering enough, in terms of degrees or certificates, for the interested environmental-science student?
  • How do we create more sustainable (that is, full-time w/benefits) environmental jobs?
  • I have had five years of interns, who, at the end, are seeking jobs. Have you heard about Habitat 2030 or the Centennial Project?
  • Is the onus on the communities to attain the education or on the field to provide more/more-accessible jobs?
  • How are both academic achievement and interest in the field at play in this dynamic?
  • How do we solve or address the seasonal nature of many of the jobs?
  • Do we need to put more effort into asking the folks in positions that require an associate's or bachelor's only (not a master's) to speak and represent the field?

Questions related to the present nature of conservation jobs

  • Do many students find benefit, as a secondary skill, with an ecological /conservation degree as a background in an indirect industry such as finance or education? Or does that just require yet another degree?
  • Besides young people looking for jobs, is the field having trouble finding new employees/future leaders, or is there a surplus?
  • How do you encourage someone to go into the uncertainty of a job in conservation vs. being a freight conductor (a reliable job your slide indicated) or similar?

Questions related to communication or "publicizing" jobs in conservation
  • Is there a way to impart environmental messages to students who are preparing for jobs in other fields (where they will likely find a job)?
  • Did you do any comparison of where there are jobs? (I promote E-STEM).
  • What about getting kids to see that other jobs (accounting, marketing, sales) can be IN environmental fields?
  • How do we bridge the gap, that is, show excitement and not doom and gloom about the outlook (for the availability of these jobs)?

Questions about the role of community and family
  • What role to parents and grandparents play in making it OK to go into a "weird" or "non-traditional" field like conservation?
  • What did "support" look like for *you* in your career path?
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