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Canopy Career Chronicles

April 26, Post 263. The blog is called "How am I going to Science?" Several science-related icons are showing on the screen, including a leaf, a beaker, a double helix, a magnifying glass, a microscope, and a tree cookie. Chloe, the author, says, "Time for another installation of the life and times of a research assistant. Thanks for tuning in!" On the side are several comments on the blog. Funguy says, "Looove this series! Keep it rolling!" Hammerthyme says, "Cool! Always wondered what being an RA actually
Chloe, the narrator, says, "It's safe to say I've always been curious." The screen shows Chloe at age 7, reading a book about seals. She says, "Whoa! How do they stay warm in that freezing water?" On the side are several comments on the blog. Acornygirl says, "I had that book when I was a kid, too!" Sprucespringsteen says, "Haha my parents totally get sick of all my questions!"
Chloe, the narrator, says, "Everything I saw got me asking questions, like "How do birds know which way is South?" The screen shows a compass, a large question mark, a bird with a radar transmitter, and a snapshot of Chloe, who is looking up and gesturing at some birds flying by.
Chloe, the narrator, says, "Dad and I used to play "Name that tree" when we were in the park. On the left is a picture of Chloe and her dad, walking hand and hand. The caption reads, "My dad and I walking through the park the summer before 4th grade." In the middle, four pictures of trees, including red oak, birch (easy), cottonwood, and "when I didn't know one, he'd make me look it up." On the right are the blog comments. SpiderPlantMan says, "Got a go-to field guide?" Chloeerphyll responds, "Yep, a huge f
Chloe, the narrator, says, "I started this blog in high school, sharing cool facts I'd learned about nature and science in my biology classes and elsewhere. On the left is a picture of her school, with the capture, "My highschool. Come on, plant a tree!) On the right is a picture of Chloe standing next to a computer, with the caption, "Freshman year (I think.)"
Chloe, the narrator, says, "In college, I felt like a sponge as I took more biology classes and began wondering where it could take me. Maybe I'd be one of the people making the discoveries I was learning about in class?" On the left is a pitcher plant, with leaves modified into pitchers. In the middle is a Venus fly trap, with leaves modified into jaws. And on the right is a cactus, with leaves modified into spines.
Chloe, the narrator, says, "I wasn't so sure about working in a lab, but I thought I'd give it a shot. So I found a part time research assistant position in a forest ecology lab." On the left is Chloe's university ID batch. On the right is a picture of Chloe, looking excited.
Chloe, the narrator, says, "It would totally change everything!" On the left is Chloe's university ID batch. On the right is a picture of Chloe, looking excited, with the caption, "Mind blown!!!"
Chloe, the narrator, says, "Jordan, the lead researcher, was wonderful. She helped me see mistakes as learning opportunities and encouraged me to go to a local research conference. I learned a ton!" On the left is a picture of Jordan, her mentor. On the right, Jordan is standing next to Chloe and pointing something out on a lab bench. Chloe says, "I can feel my brain getting bigger!"
Chloe, the narrator, says, "Before that, I thought you needed a PhD to contribute to science in a meaningful way.  Turns out that's not true. We even worked together to coauthor papers."  Her name is circled on a manuscript, with a scribbled note saying, "Hey, that's me!"
Chloe, the narrator, says, "And they've encoraged me to use my art as a tool for communicating science." On the left is a very boring and academic diagram showing oxidation and dentrification processes. On the right, Chloe stands, looking confused, "Come on guys, we can do better than this!"
Chloe, the narrator, says, "This is my lab station, my home away from home!" A picture shows a crowded workspace with two computer screens showing tree-related images. She points out wood samples, showing tree age; her coffee mug; gene sequencing data; and her blog.
Chloe, the narrator, says, "But at the same time, I don't want to sit in front of a computer all day. I get to collect data for projects during fieldwork, which gets me into the local woods by myself." Chloe is sitting on a stump in the woods, with a computer on her lap. She is looking at a tall device on a tripod, that she calls a "cool meteorology device for measuring soil moisture, sunlight, air and soil temperatures, and relative humidity." She says, "Technically, I am sitting in front of a computer, bu
Chloe, the narrator, says, "Here's a quick doodle of a cool white oak tree I saw while I was out collecting data today..." A detailed pencil sketch showing an oak tree, an acorn, and another plant that she's labeled, "What plant is this, look it up!"
Chloe, the narrator, says, "I also got to work as a research assistant at a lab in Arizona. Being in an unfamiliar region was eye-opening, and the field work took me to some amazing places!" On the side are blog comments. Beechbum says, "Not sure I could handle living in the desert." Boabarber says, "I wouldn't mind having the Grand Canyon practically in my back yard!"
Chloe, the narrator, says, "I've been exposed to research in a bunch of cool fields." A picture of a gree cookie is labeled, "Dendrochronology!" A picture of a double helix is labeled, "Conservation genetics." A complicated molecular formula is labeled, "Ecophysiology!" A tree of life diagram is labeled, "Systematics!" On the side are blog comments. SapHappy says, "Dendrochronology???" Chloeerphyll says, "Studying trees' annual growth rings to reveal each tree's story... and environmental change / past clim
Chloe, the narrator, says, "More than anything, I've loved being part of a team." Chloe is sitting at a workbench, writing in a notebook. A woman sitting in a wheelchair is measuring liquids into a series of beakers. A callout says, "Joanna: Best co-worker to complain to when my code doesn't work." A man standing next to a plant and some tools is called out as "Simon: Been here forever and magically makes things work."
Chloe, the narrator says, "Working with different researchers has shown me that nobody sciences the same way." On the left, a woman uses a chainsaw. In the middle, a man uses a device to measure a tree. On the right, a man stands at a large file cabinet, looking at dried plant specimens.
Chloe, the narrator, says, "And it's helped me shape the way I ask questions." Chloe is taking a selfie, thinking to herself, "Why are these white pines here and not anywhere else? Can I apply my understanding of where other tree species prefer to grow to help explain this?"
Chloe, the narrator, says, "I could keep talking about how awesome research assistant work is, but I should get back to some genetic sequencing data. Send your comments and questions and I'll address them in my next post!" Bog comments appear on the side. Grassroots says, "Did you study coding or learn it on your own?" Firandfeather says, "Where to next?" Muirmama asks, "Ever think about a PhD?"