Brooke McMinn


  • Time Zone

  • Organization
    Birmingham Botanical Gardens

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

  • Research Interests (300 words)
    My degree is in medicinal and economic botany from Rutgers University. My professional background is in university plant breeding research relating to various crops, including sustainable production of fruits and vegetables as well as grasses. Additionally, I have experience working as an agricultural agent with a cooperative extension service where I worked with farmers and landowners to establish and evaluate their integrated pest management programs. Currently, I work as an ethnobotanist at the Birmingham Botanical Gardens where I design and deliver educational programs related to the vast and various connections between plants and human society.

  • 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 have always loved science. As a child, I dreamed of becoming a scientist. But somehow, life initially led me in another direction and I became an accountant. It took several years before I realized I could no longer spend my life so far removed from the natural world around me. I made the decision to change my career course when I was 26 years old. Ultimately I resigned my position, moved 1,000 miles away, started getting my hands into the soil and my mind in touch with the work I really wanted to do.

  • 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 is looking at the world through a scientific lens, and getting to share that view with those in my community, both at home and around the world. Science works the same wherever you go and can bring us all together in search for greater understanding of the universe we all share.

  • Profile Question 3
    What lessons have you learned in your career about how science works?

  • Answer the question you selected for profile question 3 here (300 words):
    I feel the most valuable lesson I have learned is that there is no such thing as an “exact science.” There are always variations, deviations and unpredictable variables. But that's what makes our world so amazing! There is always a new discovery waiting for us!

  • Availability
    I am NOT available, please temporarily remove me from the available mentor list

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