This past week, at Duke’s Nicholas School of the Environment, (which is where I work,) our second year students gave their Master’s Project presentations at our annual Master’s Project (MP) Symposium.
It’s a big moment for our students, as it represents the culmination of all their research, analytical work, writing, and finally presentation of their work to the faculty, staff, and their peers.
First year students are required to sit in and observe, so that they’ll get an indication of what they’re up against next year as they present their own projects.
I sat quietly in the back of rooms so that I could do some sketching. The lights were dimmed to accommodate Powerpoint presentations, so I took advantage and sketched mostly backs of heads while I listened to all sorts of interesting talks.
Topics covered varied subject areas from conservation, to sustainability issues, alternative energy solutions, climate change, environmental health and security, forest resource management, policy strategies, environmental law, etc.
Some of the students I spoke with said they were nervous wrecks, beforehand, but you wouldn’t know it to see them speak. Their talks can be fascinating.
Professors and peers grilled each student, after their presentations were done, and it was one of the only days of the year when second year presenters showed up looking beautifully groomed in suits and heels or suits and ties.
Most of my fellow audience members were in baseball caps, sweatshirts and jeans.
I always look forward to these talks each year, and I leave each time feeling that the world is in good hands with these young students who are bursting with ideals and enthusiasm for our future.
It’s gratifying for me to meet students on the road who eventually wind up coming to the
, and I get to watch them as they mature into competent professionals. Nicholas School
“Life is the art of drawing without an eraser.” (-John W Gardner)