Never Give Up

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

It’s been good to see several friends here at the Ecological Society of America Meeting.  I was particularly surprised to see Yasemin, a Turkish woman, who attended a CPC workshop in which I taught about 3 years ago.  She has just finished her doctorate and is here at the meetings to look out for grant and job opportunities.  When she talks about her academic life and the state of plant conservation in Turkey, it is clear that conservation science is just beginning in the country.  There are no botanical gardens in the country and there is little academic infrastructure supporting training for the many jobs that are required to run a botanical garden.  Yasemin says if you are female, married and a mother as she is, you pretty much are considered not viable for professional jobs. Because many of the current academic positions in botany are already filled she may have to be very creative to continue her scientific career.  Since it took her 8 years to get her doctorate, she's not a quitter.  I suspect her determination will carry her through.  Over dinner, Tom Grant (former conservation officer at Denver Botanic Garden) & I gave her some ideas for grant sources.  Perhaps they will come through for her.  Meeting her again made me realize the value of the CPC Applied Plant Conservation Workshop.  There Yasemin met many plant conservation mentors currently doing plant conservation research.  We all hope that we helped give her the tools she needs to create a great position from scratch.