Upon reflecting on my experience with the Eugenie Clark Fellowship, I am filled with gratitude for the unique opportunity that came my way. Initially, I couldn't help but wonder how fortunate I was to be selected for such a prestigious position. Taking into account the expectations placed on me, I felt confident in my ability to handle the physical demands of the fellowship. However, I couldn't help but question whether I possessed the intellectual prowess and contributions necessary to make a meaningful impact in the world of shark sciences.
Being a minority, a woman, and a single parent, I was already well aware of the additional challenges that these characteristics might bring. It made me question if I would be able to fully embrace and succeed in this exceptional opportunity. Nevertheless, I embarked on this incredible journey of fieldwork, which not only involved studying sharks but also extended to dolphins, their prey, and stingrays. The experience was enriched by various modalities of fieldwork, including data analysis and science communication.
The heart of the fellowship lay in the opportunity to work as a summer camp leader, a role that allowed me to express my own unique scientific voice. It was a chance to inspire and educate others about the wonders of the marine world. Throughout this journey, I was fortunate to be guided by mentors who not only generously shared their scientific expertise but also provided invaluable emotional support.
In the end, the fellowship proved to be a transformative experience. I surpassed my own expectations and discovered untapped potential within myself. I learned that being a minority, a woman, and a single parent did not hinder my capabilities but instead enriched my perspective in the world of shark sciences. The fellowship provided me with the confidence and skills to contribute meaningfully to the field, and I now look forward to continuing my journey of exploration and discovery in the realm of marine biology. I am an empowered Science Communicator. I am a scientist. An adventurer, explorer, and a badass.
MISS provides a community and funded opportunities for gender minorities of color who wish to enter the field of shark sciences. We aim to show that there are many gender minorities of color succeeding in and interested in this field.
We fundraise and apply for grants to create paid opportunities to attempt to knock down the financial barrier into shark sciences. We encourage other organizations in our field to do the same.
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MISS is a registered US nonprofit, tax-exempt corporation under 501 (c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code (EIN: 85-2192211).
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