Doing something more

During my academic development, I have realized that there is more to doing science than only concentrating in your own research without looking outside of your lab. As a graduate student or recent graduate trying to contribute to the sciences, you may think the only way to do it is to lock yourself up until you publish some relevant work about your research. Although very important, it turns out this is not enough. Getting involved in different activities allows you to broaden your perspective of frontline research (e.g. attending scientific meetings, leading discussions and seminars within your institution, etc.), learn about the public awareness of the sciences, and contribute to the voice of your scientific discipline towards the general public.
Commited to the endeavor of diversifying my potential contributions to my research field, I've participated and I'm still active in different activities mainly aimed to help students enhance their academic training. In 2008, a group of friends (Rafael Bello-Bedoy, Sergio Ancona and I) proposed and later put together the student section of the Mexican Ecological Society (SCME) to serve as a formal link between students, researchers, social organizations and the general public. From this, I learned that one of the best ways to encourage students and help them in their careers is to allow them to broaden their horizons in every possible aspect. In order to share my experience and try to assist other students to acquire their own, I joined the Mexico Chapter of the Ecological Society of America (ESA) as their Secretary in 2008. During my service as Secretary from 2008 to 2010, I worked closely with the Chapter's chair and got two consecutive grants from ESA that allowed us to support the attendance of five students to the 2009 ESA meeting in Albuquerque, NM, and five other ones to the 2010 ESA meeting in Pittsburgh, PA. In line with these activities, I also joined the ESA-Student Section board in 2009 as their International Affairs Officer and was responsible for the 2010 ESA-Student Section Travel Awards. After that, I served as the Mexico Chapter Liaison to the ESA-Student Section.
As an early career researcher, I continue to value these efforts and try to participate actively to share and gain more experience as well as assisting other students and early career researchers to acquire their own. Currently, I serve as the student-at-large member of the International Biogeography Society (IBS) Board of Directors. I also form part of the organizing committee of the next IBS meeting that will be held in Brazil in 2017!

"There is no better high than discovery" E.O. Wilson