“I'm in a more valuable position than I was in other research settings because here I need the skillset humans have to approach this type of data collection effectively. The work I'm doing can't be automated. We have to come out here. I’m more abstractly valued as a researcher in this setting where I can't really be replaced. Whereas a lot of the work I'm doing in my neuro lab could just be automated 30 years from now. It's a little different than other research experiences I've had.
I'm trying to stay in the mindset of not constraining myself to just one subject interest. I'm taking the neuroscience classes, but I can't take all of the ecology classes. That's why I'm out here. Since I've taken environmental science classes before, I have a baseline and coming out here into the field can almost be a practical substitute. The experience here - reading papers, talking to Jonathan at the end of the day - it could be just as valuable as an Intro to Ecology class. And if I decide to lean into my ecology interest in the future, I think the perspective I take from my neuroscience classes will be valuable. That different perspective could uniquely inform the type of questions I ask.
I'm an ecologist as much as I am a neuroscientist.”