When you were younger, did you always enjoy building with blocks? Maybe operating the dump trucks in the sandbox were more your style? Well, if those activities are still what you wish you could be doing as you get older, you may want to learn more about becoming a civil engineer.
Civil engineers are professionals who design, manage, build, and maintain large construction projects. New mall going up in town? Civil engineers are likely the people who are overseeing everything from the construction of the parking lots to the layout of the roads that get people in and out of the area. A bridge being repaired on a local highway? Civil engineers are likely involved there, too. Whenever you see large construction projects and heavy equipment, you can bet there is probably a civil engineer on site.
Civil engineers have at least an undergraduate degree, and many have graduate degrees in their field. With the responsibility they have for large projects and the diversity of their jobs, it's important that all civil engineers are highly trained in their profession. Degrees in civil engineering are available at both state schools and private colleges, so there are many opportunities for schooling in your local area and around the country.
If you have always like building things and being outdoors, civil engineering may be the right profession for you. Check out the video below form the American Society of Civil Engineers to see some civil engineers in action.
To learn more about civil engineering, visit one of these resources to learn more or to speak to people who are in the profession:
* American Society of Civil Engineers
* UMass Dartmouth's Civil and Environmental Engineering Department
* Northeastern University Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
* Society of Women Engineers
Turn your passion into your profession!
Humans science constantly. Everyday transactions and interactions- from pumping gas to boiling water to having a simple conversation- involve science on some level. We embrace science as an active presence in our lives from the minute we wake up in the morning to the second we fall asleep at night. This week, however, we are going to take a step into the animal kingdom to take a closer look at how a feathered member of the animal kingdom uses science every day!
They eat bones. They bathe in mud. They dye their feathers bright red and orange. They are Bearded Vultures. And they science. The Bearded Vulture, also known as the Ossifrage (which means “bone breaker”) is no bird brain when it comes to getting a tasty meal!
While most vulture species typically scavenge for dead animals to feed on (also known as carrion), bearded vultures feast almost exclusively on bones. Bones are often overlooked by other birds and animals, so they are a bountiful, highly nutritious source of food. Bearded Vultures, which are native to parts of Europe, Africa, and Asia, are the only bird species to specialize in eating them! More specifically, the whole bones of animals like sheep and goats.
How does a vulture go about eating the bones of a sheep or goat? They smash the bones into bits, of course! Bearded vultures have developed the ability to ride thermal columns of air high into the sky over the rocky cliffs they call home while carrying large pieces of bone. When they are high enough, the vultures release the bone and let it plummet back towards earth. Upon impact, the bone shatters into smaller, easier-to-eat pieces. Yummy!
Check out the incredible video below to see a bearded vulture in action:
How cool is that!? Did you see all of the science happening? Let’s break it down:
For more information (including more pictures and videos) on the incredible Bearded Vulture, visit www.arkive.org!
The word taxidermy usually conjures up thoughts of dusty museum halls or memories of that large elk head in the local VFW. But taxidermy has had an interesting new resurgence with a younger generation. Young, educated professionals are being drawn to taxidermy and are interested in a more sustainable practice of the ancient craft. “Ethical Taxidermy,” as it’s called, is a more humane way to discover the animal world.
What makes it ethical? Ethical taxidermy is when the specimens used are not killed for the purposes of taxidermy. Generally, the animals have died of natural or accidental causes. Also, many ethical taxidermists use the entire animal. Taxidermy is more eco-friendly than you would think. Ethical taxidermists use non-toxic chemicals that won’t hurt the environment. No formaldehyde here!
So what’s with this rebirth of taxidermy? Making and doing things by hand is popular with millennials. From knitting to farming to woodworking and everything in between, this generation is putting a sustainable twist to old techniques. And it doesn’t hurt that being a science nerd is in vogue.
Some maybe a little squeamish at the process of taxidermy, but it can be admired for its scientific and artistic qualities. Taxidermists have to be well versed in the anatomy and physiology of many different species. Also, they are responsible for restoring museum displays and extracting DNA from endangered or extinct species. Taxidermists are also talented artists and need to make their subject accurate and visually appealing. If you want to learn more about young people in the taxidermy industry, check out:
Mickey Alice Kwapis at www.mickeyalicekwapis.com
Allis Markham at www.preytaxidermy.com
Imagine you are out on a walk at a local nature preserve. As you walk, you are struck by the beauty and variety of the plants you see and the birds you hear. You wish you could learn more about the nature around you, but aren’t sure of where to start. An invaluable resource in exploring and learning about the natural world around us is a field guide. Not sure what a field guide is, exactly? Let me explain.
A field guide is a book that helps its reader identify biotic (alive!) and abiotic (non-living!) objects in nature. Field guides can be general to an area like the National Audubon Society Field Guide to New England, or more subject specific like the Peterson Field Guide to Birds of Massachusetts. The field guide you choose should be based on your learning goals. So if you want to learn more about trees, choose a field guide that identifies plants. If you wanted to learn more about mushrooms, you would choose a fungi field guide.
Once you have selected your field guide, you need to be able to use it. Start by reading it at home. Most field guides will have an introduction or overview and a “How to Use This Book” section. It may sound like a lot of reading, but the best part about field guides is that the written sections are short and to the point (and there are always pictures).
Once you feel confident in your field guide know-how, you can head outside and start using it!
There are two main ways to use a field guide. The first is to identify a species in nature by comparing the real life object to the picture in the book. The second is to look up a species you already know in the index, find the corresponding page and read the information that is provided.
Whichever method you choose you are sure to learn more about the natural world around you, and truly impress your family and friends in the future.
If you were to make a list of animals you will probably never see in the wild, that list would probably include Tyrannosaurus rex and the dodo, among others. But what if that wasn't the case? Just like in the movie Jurassic Park, there are scientists who use specialized scientific equipment and a fine understanding of genetics to try to answer some of the oldest mysteries we have. Did you know there were real scientists who do that?
There are scientists called paleogeneticists who study the genetic makeup of lifeforms that have long been extinct. From the bacteria that caused the plague deaths in the middle ages to the genetics of ancient humans, paleogeneticists work with tiny fragments of remaining DNA to learn more about organisms from another time.
Becoming a paleogeneticist requires a thorough understanding of biology, archeology, and genetics, among other skills, so becoming one of these specialized scientists takes a significant amount of study. But even though it can be a long process, how cool would it be to be a real life Jurassic Park scientist?
To read more about the neat work being done in this fascinating field of science, click here to visit paleogenetics.com.
Welcome to How We Science, a blog sponsored and maintained by the Natural Resources Trust of Easton and dedicated to sharing the wonders of science and STEM-related careers in ways you may not even know existed. Each week we will be bringing you great information about pursuing careers in science and other STEM fields, resources for learning more about science and STEM professions, and interviews with real people who are scientists in the real world. We hope to educate, inspire, and excite all of our readers!
We also want to hear from you! Are you a student scientist with a special interest that you want to make into your career? Do you work in a really cool STEM job and want to tell others about it? Do you have a science job that no one else knows exists? We want to know more! At How We Science we are looking for real life stories, short videos, science-related book and website reviews, and more that tell people about how you use and enjoy science in our work and home life.
Contact us by email with your post ideas and questions. We look forward to sharing our excitement about science with you!
On January 4, 2016 join us for the launch of the NRT's new online science education initiative, How Do You Science?, and blog, How We Science. These two resources are dedicated to educating and inspiring aspiring scientists everywhere! Whether you are an amateur naturalist with an interest in the environment or you are looking for ways to turn your interest in working with metals into a career, How We Science will have resources that can help you discover more about the opportunities available in science and STEM-related fields.
So we hope you join us on January 4th for our new blog launch, then explore our new website How Do You Science? to learn more!
How We Science is moderated and edited by the staff of the Natural Resources Trust of Easton.