The GLOBES Program in Environment and Society will soon mark an important 10th anniversary milestone. In August of 2006, the first cohort of eight graduate students began a regimen of interdisciplinary training activities designed to prepare young researchers to work across disciplines and to contribute lasting solutions to grand challenges in the environment and human health. Under the direction of Professor Jeffrey Feder, Department of Biological Sciences, GLOBES administered more than 50 fellowship awards over a period of seven years with funding support from the National Science Foundation’s Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship (IGERT) $3M grant award.
Dozens of GLOBES graduates now fill key roles in academic, government, corporate, and non-profit sectors. They are meeting the growing demand for scientists capable of contributing answers to vital research questions and impacting regional, national, and global decision-making at the intersection of the environment and society.
For example, GLOBES graduate Becky Miller, Ph.D. 2012, is a health specialist contractor for The Common Fund in the Office of Strategic Coordination, National Institutes of Health. “GLOBES was an immense support for my research, personal development, and career development. I was able to explore and train in areas otherwise neglected or overlooked in traditional biology graduate studies and was allowed to cultivate knowledge and develop research studies outside my primary dissertation work,” said Becky.
Science communication training in the form of short-course, hands-on modules is a GLOBES program hallmark, one that lives on in the Certificate program now housed at the John J. Reilly Center for Science, Technology, and Values. The communication modules bring together students and experts in the media and policy worlds for intensive workshops that hone messaging skills and simulate interviews and expert testimony scenarios. Learning how to “make your science matter” resonates with GLOBES students eager to make research discoveries understood and meaningful to audiences outside of academia.
“For our scholarly work to positively impact society, we must place it in the broader context of human and natural systems. GLOBES provides graduate students with many of the tools necessary for this monumental task,” said Matthew Cooper, Ph.D. 2014, a member of the fourth cohort of GLOBES-IGERT trainees.
Under the current leadership of Director Gary Lamberti, Department of Biological Sciences, GLOBES continues to flourish and to help students find solutions to the complex environmental and human health questions of our time. Major accomplishments of the program follow:
- Linking distinct academic spheres and engaging more than 35 affiliated faculty and 69 graduate fellows
- Developing new, team-taught courses by faculty from the biological and social sciences examining the principles that underlie interactions between humans and the environment
- Supporting work in more than 17 research labs studying environmental and human health questions
- Developing a highly successful communications workshop series that trains students to frame their research message for different audiences and to present at leadership forums, including the U.S. State Department in Washington, D.C.
- Awarding 42 fellowships to undergraduates from across the country for summer research experiences mentored by GLOBES-IGERT trainees
- Establishing a graduate certificate program at the John J. Reilly Center for Science, Technology, and Values with 22 current student participants representing the College of Arts & Letters, the College of Engineering, the College of Science, and Law School.
- Embracing the ideals of interdisciplinary scholarship by broadening graduate student research and education experiences
The GLOBES program will continue to work across departments and research initiatives to enhance the translation of research, advance interdisciplinary thinking, and inspire student engagement. Learn more about the GLOBES community of scholars at the website, http://reilly.nd.edu/globes.