Candidate for Student Board Member: Katherine Cook

Katherine Cook

PhD. candidate (Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Oklahoma, United States)


Biographical Information

Katharine CookI am a PhD candidate at the University of Oklahoma (OU) studying harmful cyanobacteria blooms in freshwaters. I am interested in developing efficient monitoring programs for lakes and reservoirs which has included assessing the practicality of using remote sensing platforms to monitor blooms. My more recent research revolves around the bacterial community associated with freshwater harmful algal blooms, and combines field and lab studies to explore the interactions and dependencies between cyanobacteria and their associated microbiomes. Another of my primary interests is scientific outreach. During my time at OU, I founded a graduate student science outreach organization called BioReach, which to date has put on scientific outreach events at 6 different local community events and 12 elementary schools, each tailored to a particular age group and education level. As a part of this group I have led the development of outreach curriculum and organized large community events with numerous volunteers. I also volunteer with the Native American Summer Research Experience at OU where I teach students lake sampling techniques and place them in the context of on-going limnological experiments. In addition, I have served for two years as President of the OU Biology Graduate Student Association. Recently, I served on the graduate student conference planning committee for the 10th Harmful Algae Symposium, from which I gained experience planning as part of a larger team, working within budgetary constraints, and planning conference events for graduate students. My community service has given me experience in representing graduate student interests in larger organizations, working on teams, and planning and organizing large events.

Candidate Statement

I have been very involved in ASLO since joining in 2017 by attending numerous ASLO meetings and as an author in and reviewer for Limnology and Oceanography. I have benefited immensely from past ASLO conferences, student workshop events at conferences, and connections made through attending presentations and networking events. Based on my past experiences, I think I am highly qualified to represent undergraduate and graduate students on the board.

As a student board member, I would be interested in joining the Outreach Subcommittee and the Student Resources and Activities Subcommittee, with the goal of developing new events aimed at graduate students and early career researchers, while at the same time supporting the continuity of existing programs. Some events for graduate students I would like to see offered at future ASLO conferences include workshops aimed at how to make presentation quality figures, and how to start scientific outreach events in your own community. Also, I am interested in making events more accessible, and would organize informational webinars for ASLO student members unable to attend the conference in person. These webinars could cover a number of topics chosen by student members, some examples could be publishing strategies in aquatic journals, interviews with older ASLO members, and how to effectively network at meetings. I feel strongly about giving back to the community and would be very excited to serve ASLO and the student members as student board member.

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