Tuesday, March 13, 2018
Inland Seas Education Center
100 Dame Street, Suttons Bay
Emily Shaw, graduate student at Michigan Technological University, will be presenting on her findings on the PCB contaminants in the Laurentian Great Lakes basin’s Areas of Concern. As she studied Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) fish PCB data, her three objectives were to identify the sources of PCBs, evaluate evidence for decreasing levels of contamination in response to remediation efforts, and examine PCB burdens and congener distributions to understand species susceptibility to contamination. Attend this seminar to hear the results of Emily’s research, and welcome her back as she visits ISEA.
My path to research and graduate school was indirect. Science shaped my youth; growing up with a mother who is a microbiologist and a father who is a paramedic, the curiosity that is integral to the scientific process was how I developed my own world-view. Growing up in central Indiana, the nearby cornfields and the shores of Lake Michigan were where I explored. I followed my interest in protecting the environment to Indiana University, graduating in 2007, and earning a degree in public affairs (major: environmental management). An internship experience at ISEA during my undergraduate program refocused my interests from law and policy to education and stewardship. I was fortunate to work there upon graduation. In my role as the Education and Volunteer Coordinator, I had the opportunity to work alongside hundreds of fantastic volunteers to bring hands-on science education to kids from throughout the Great Lakes basin. Here, I realized the stewardship potential that stems from our connection with the natural world. By providing people with a scientific lens through which to view regional issues, we can empower individuals to make a larger investment in their community and its resources. My research at Michigan Tech is a step towards the marriage of these seemingly dissimilar interests. Focusing on the intersection of community, science, and policy enables me to explore the ways we connect to the environment as well as how policies can inhibit or encourage our connection to nature.