While in New York City in March, Elsa Youngsteadt and I met with Andrew Collins (check out his research here), a graduate student at Columbia University. We have been discussing some ongoing projects related to School of Ants outreach, and we enjoyed the opportunity to meet him in person (and we even roped him into doing some field work in the medians with us in between his classes!). He was kind enough to answer a few of our questions about all things science and education.
Science Education Q & A with Andrew Collins
As an undergraduate I spent the majority of my time performing research in Peru, on projects ranging from the behavioral ecology of army ants to the composition of Andean cloud forest tree communities. While this work showed me the importance of preserving these ecologically valuable spaces, I understood that my actions alone would not lead to the large scale change necessary for conservation. Joining the New York City Teaching Fellows program allowed me the opportunity to inform and engage young students in these critical issues. For two years I taught middle and high school science at a public school in Brooklyn, focusing my curriculum on sustainability and environmental stewardship. This experience led me to my current research on urban ecology and science education as a graduate student at Columbia University.
What is it like doing research in NYC?