Harry Castle, MS-A
Hometown: Plymouth, the United Kingdom
Advisor: Dr. Jennifer Hodbod
I came to MSU almost directly out of my undergraduate program in Environmental Science at the University of Plymouth in the UK - a program which ignited my passions for environmental issues and the natural world. Despite my enjoyment of this program, I was bothered by the lack of practical "hands-on" work conducted by my department to help alleviate many of the issues being researched. While this isn't particularly unique within academic departments, my belief in the importance of environmental issues made it difficult to imagine a future for myself that was purely focused on academics. I became particularly interested in the concept of a "scholar-practitioner" and knew that if I were to pursue a Master's, it would have to be something "different".
This feeling grew as I learned more about the importance of scientific communication and public engagement - especially relating to environmental issues. This led to my interest in Extension work being conducted in the US, and in turn, my time spent volunteering with MSU Extension in Delta County in the Upper Peninsula. I have now spent two summers with extension, in 2017 and 2018. These were incredibly valuable experiences for me and have shaped the direction that I hope my future career to take.