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ERIC Number: EJ1123061
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016-Dec
Pages: 19
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: EISSN-1931-7913
Early Environmental Field Research Career Exploration: An Analysis of Impacts on Precollege Apprentices
Flowers, Susan K.; Beyer, Katherine M.; Pérez, Maria; Jeffe, Donna B.
CBE - Life Sciences Education, v15 n4 Article 67 Dec 2016
Research apprenticeships offer opportunities for deep understanding of scientific practice, transparency about research careers, and possible transformational effects on precollege youth. We examined two consecutive field-based environmental biology apprenticeship programs designed to deliver realistic career exploration and connections to research scientists. The Shaw Institute for Field Training (SIFT) program combines introductory field-skills training with research assistance opportunities, and the subsequent Tyson Environmental Research Fellowships (TERF) program provides immersive internships on university field station-based research teams. In a longitudinal mixed-methods study grounded in social cognitive career theory, changes in youth perspectives were measured during program progression from 10th grade through college, evaluating the efficacy of encouraging career path entry. Results indicate SIFT provided self-knowledge and career perspectives more aligned with reality. During SIFT, differences were found between SIFT-only participants compared with those who progressed to TERF. Transition from educational activities to fieldwork with scientists was a pivotal moment at which data showed decreased or increased interest and confidence. Continuation to TERF provided deeper relationships with role models who gave essential early-career support. Our study indicates the two-stage apprenticeship structure influenced persistence in pursuit of an environmental research career pathway. Recommendations for other precollege environmental career-exploration programs are presented.
American Society for Cell Biology. 8120 Woodmont Avenue Suite 750, Bethesda, MD 20814-2762. Tel: 301-347-9300; Fax: 301-347-9310; e-mail:; Website:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Grade 10; Secondary Education; High Schools; Grade 11; Grade 12; Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: National Science Foundation (NSF)
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: DRL0739874