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USGS Science Career Day

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Detailed Description

In this episode, high school students from Rosemary Anderson High School in Portland, Oregon, visit the USGS Oregon Water Science Center for a ‘Science Career Day’ event. Scientists work with the students and try to promote the appeal and benefits of a career in science. The day is broken up into two parts: an early morning discussion period, and an afternoon field period. Check out just how much fun science can be in this episode of the USGS Oregon Science Podcast.




Public Domain.


[Intro Music begins]

[Voiceover narration] Every career day is gotten me to kind of just look at other occupations.
[Voiceover narration] This is definitely beneficial.
[Voiceover narration] It’s so cool, what you guys do is important.

[Steven Sobieszczyk] Hello and welcome. Earlier this fall, the USGS Oregon Water Science Center hosted a “Science Career Day” for students at Rosemary Anderson High School, here in Portland, Oregon. Now, the goal of the day was relatively simple, introduce the students to “life as a scientist.” And, if all went well, hopefully demonstrate how epically awesome this career choice is. Granted, this was no small feat and we won’t know for a while how successful we were. Regardless, we gave it a try and this video shows you how.

[Student] The fact that we’re still in high school and we’re trying to prep for college, this is really like an ideal thing to take part in.

[Student] We should take this field trip as a learning experience and listen and take in all the information we can.

[Student] Now that I’m more informed, I’m kind of leaning toward science because it’s something I actually really like.

[Steven Sobieszczyk] So, what motivated this career day? Well, the USGS is an aging workforce. And like any other organization we can definitely benefit from an influx of talented, motivated, and diverse young scientists and professionals. Now, if you want to replicate this “Science Career Day” here’s what you are going to need to know for planning your event.

[Voiceover narration] You know when I used to think about science I used to just think about biology, physics, and chemistry. Not these different branches and all that.
[Voiceover narration] I didn’t even know you did anything like this.

[Sue Perry] Today is going to be designed to give you a sense of what possible kinds of careers and jobs there are related to science. If science sounds interesting to you, keep us on your radar screen as something could open up.

[Steven Sobiesczyk] We’re trying to reach out to young adults, high schoolers, even sometimes as low as middle schoolers to introduce them to science.

[Claire Bunch] I wanted to start out just hearing a little bit about what you guys want to do when you’re done with high school. Where you see yourself going next.

[Student] After high school, I am planning on going straight into college. I’m kind of just going to find my way.

[Student] I just want to start college immediately. Because what I want to do, I’m going to do 7 years of college, so I don’t want to waste any time.

[Student] I’m going to try to go to PCC [Portland Community College] and then take my transfer grade to OSU [Oregon State University]. And go to OSU for biology.

[Claire Bunch] Okay. So I’m going to tell you guys a little bit about how I got to be where I am today. So, I grew up in the Midwest. And just spending a lot of time, you know, out by creeks and rivers and seeing plants and animals outside. I thought maybe science would be something that I could get in to. I was lucky enough to find a career counselor who sent me to a program at Gateway Community College and right off the bat they got me an internship with the U.S. Geological Survey.

[Micelis Doyle] I do a lot of different things. You, know. Like I said. One day I’m driving the boat. Then I’m building a chamber. Maybe on the computer for a day or two. I’m out in the field. I take my job very seriously because I know other people rely on some of the things I do. So I want to do the best that I can. We’re non-bias. We’re not in the profit-making business. We not out here to make a bunch of money. We’re here to serve the public. I wanted to ask you guys, what is your ideal work environment?

[Student] I want a job that I can enjoy that, yeah, it pays good and all that. Something that I can make a living out that I love.

[Student] I’m just looking for something that I can enjoy. Like, I don’t want a job that I sit behind…in an office all day.

[Student] I like flexibility. All the jobs we talked about this morning are all flexible.

[Steven Sobiesczyk] After lunch, students geared up for some field activities. This mostly included working with streamflow and water-quality instrumentation.

[Voiceover narration] They looked pretty involved and really interested.
[Voiceover narration] Science is important, science is more than just sitting at a desk crunching numbers.

[Micelis Doyle] This reading would be pretty worthless because we’re not getting a true measurement of what the water clarity is. So we either have to move upstream or wait until all this settled out.

[Claire Bunch] So, we just made a measurement.

[Micelis Doyle] I mean it can handle getting wet but it can’t be submerged for an extended period of time.

[Claire Bunch] You guys want to gather around. We can take a look at our measurement we just made.

[Student] What did you call it, a water tractor?

[Micelis Doyle] A water-quality monitor.

[Claire Bunch] You guys want to gather around and take a look at this. Even have you guys…someone load it up.

[Micelis Doyle] I’m going to try to get this over to Ty to try and get her to write some of these numbers down for me.

[Steven Sobiesczyk] Cool. Well, thank you guys very much. I appreciate you guys being able to come out and spend the day with us. Give us some feedback.


[Steven Sobiesczyk] Well, that’s the gist of our USGS Science Career Day. It was a fun and rewarding day. And it couldn’t have been done without the help of Rosemary Anderson High School and the USGS Diversity Council. Now, if you want to replicate this or if you have any questions or comments about this Sicence Career Day, please feel free email us at

[Steven Sobiesczyk] You guys ready. On the count of three.

[Student] Say Cheese.

[Steven Sobiesczyk] 1-2-3.

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