Jessica Griffard


  • Time Zone

  • Organization
    Kirkwood School district

  • Employment Status
    (not set)

  • Role
    Scientist Mentor: I will mentor teams of students online

  • Research Interests (300 words)
    Ethnobotany, wild crops and edibles, environmental education, orinthology, and anthropology

  • Profile Question 1
    When and why did you decide to go into a science career?

  • Answer the question you selected for profile question 1 here (300 words):
    I love to learn about the natural world. I am fascinated by nature and enjoy spending time outdoors in the forest. My parents gave me an appreciation for the natural world starting from a young age. I can remember when I was a child my mother and father taught me how to recognize the sounds of different bird songs. I enjoyed trying to mimic different bird songs and would get excited whenever the bird seemed to respond back. My parents taught me how to explore and observe the natural world and also how to love and appreciate it. For my career, I followed the path that allowed me to continue learning about nature, observing the plants and animals, asking deep questions, and always exploring life and how things are interconnected. Science was the career path that gave me the opportunity to follow my passion for the environment and learning about the web of life.

  • Profile Question 2
    What is best about being a scientist?

  • Answer the question you selected for profile question 2 here (300 words):
    The best thing about being a scientist, I feel, is that you always get to be surrounded by cool ideas, questions, discoveries, and people. It is a field in which we are forever learning and aiming to improve our understanding of things. The questions can be intriguing. The discoveries can be fascinating. And the people can be passionate and knowledgeable. There is an energy and excitement among scientists because we often want to share things we discover with each other and at the same time we also want to learn from each. It is a field where, in its ideal form, it is not the individual ego that drives science, but rather the pursuit of knowledge so as to benefit the whole that matters most.

  • Profile Question 3
    Can you describe your attitude toward science when you were in high school?

  • Answer the question you selected for profile question 3 here (300 words):
    This is a great question. I actually liked science the least of all my subjects in high school. It is funny to think about, especially since I feel so passionate now about it. But at that time, I do not remember discussing many real world issues nor making connections about what we learned in class to the world around me. It was more memorization. And chemistry and cellular anatomy were always hard for me because these were things that I could not actually see with my eyes. I am a visual learner, so it was hard for me to understand these subjects. Since then I have been able to experience learning about science in many different ways, including doing fieldwork in tropical regions. I have learned about science more from doing it rather than studying it in a textbook and that made it become real to me and I feel very passionate about it and also sharing it with others.

  • Capacity: How many teams at a time are you comfortable working with?

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