A Scientist’s Motivation

Well, we’ve just about wrapped up all of our laboratory tests and we are all starting in on the writing of our final report.  For many of us science folk, this is a hard time.  In general, it seems like science students would rather be moving around, rather than sitting in the library, drudging through literature and writing slowly.  So… what keeps us going? Is it the pressure of college deadlines? Is it our GPA? Or is it the desire to turn our field work and laboratory tests into something that can be used by all?

I guess that all three factors help us to motivate ourselves, but in discussion with most of the Capstone students, I have found that mostly we truly want to produce a valid, scientifically sound report that can be used by the community to improve their lake management.  For me, it is not science for the sake of science that draws me to research.  Rather it is the possibility of helping this natural world that I care so much about.  Ecological science is a tool that helps us to make informed decisions when we alter our landscape.

Currently, we have two goals: 1. write a report that everyone can enjoy reading and 2. make sure that the report has good, trustworthy, scientific research to support our recommendations.    We have the good, trustworthy science part all set for now, but making our report readable is still underway.   Currently, we are struggling to fully explain all of the ecological background, to avoid repeating ourselves, and to make the report interesting and relevant.  It will be many hours in front of a computer screen until we are done, but we all know that the end result will be well worth it.  I know how accomplished we will all feel when our report is used to make management decisions for the first time!  Keep posted for more information about our upcoming presentation!


Lydia Ball