Alex Lincoln | Biology
Hometown: Palo Alto, CA
Pomona Major: Biology, Class of 2014
Current Employment: Master of Science Candidate, Aquatic and Fishery Sciences @ University of Washington
- River Scientist AmeriCorps at the Sierra Streams Institute (local non-profit in Nevada City, CA)
- Prairie Science Technician at the Center for Natural Lands Management in Olympia, WA
- Hawaiian Rainforest Restoration Research Assistant to Dr. Peter Vitousek for Stanford University
- Plant Physiology Research Assistant to Dr. David Becker at Pomona College
- Molecular Biology REU Intern with Dr. Miri VanHoven at San Jose State University
- Molecular Biology Summer Intern with Dr. Craig Stephens at Santa Clara University
- Invertebrate Zoology Department Volunteer at the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History in Washington D.C.
- Public Programs Volunteer with the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco, CA
- Community Outreach Intern with the Sierra Club Loma Prieta Chapter in Palo Alto, CA
My first piece of advice to any student would be to take advantage of the breadth of classes offered at the 5Cs to gain a strong and broad background within (and outside of) your major. Your liberal arts education is a huge advantage in many arenas. Similarly, I would encourage students to be open to new experiences and stepping outside of your comfort zone as a way to grow yourself and your interests. I came into Pomona with a wide variety of interests within biology, and a plan to focus in on molecular biology/biotechnology. However, an internship in Hawai'i doing rainforest restoration research, (the result of a somewhat last-minute scramble to find summer plans after molecular biology internship plans fell through), ended up being one of the most influential experiences of my life and sparked my interest in fieldwork and ecological research.
For the past two years after graduating, I have been involved with the AmeriCorps Individual Placement program, which has been a wonderful way to connect with small non-profits doing environmental stewardship, restoration, and research. Being at small non-profits (the Sierra Streams Institute in Nevada City, CA and the Center for Natural Lands Management in Olympia, WA) has enabled me to gain skills in many areas beyond science, and has allowed me to form numerous invaluable connections to scientists at both governmental and non-governmental organizations through collaborative projects. I strongly encourage recent graduates to consider joining AmeriCorps for a year of national service.
I cannot emphasize enough how much I have benefitted from taking some time off before jumping into further schooling. These two years have given me a chance to solidify my career goals and further shape my research interests to guide my future graduate study. I will be attending graduate school for a master's degree in ecology beginning in the fall of 2016, and after graduating I hope to work as a research scientist for a government agency or a non-profit.
Feel free to contact me about working for environmental non-profits, the AmeriCorps program, internships in molecular biology/ecology/museums, applying for graduate school in ecology, careers in ecology, presenting at conferences, or anything else!