Jennifer L. Potter
jras at post.its.mcw.edu
Tue Jan 23 22:24:41 EST 1996
I can't help you with spatial autocorrelation, although I'm now curious
to find out what it is ... I can offer some advice about graduate school
and choosing grad schools in general. I'm in a biochemistry dept and
don't know exactly how other fields like wildlife management, etc. are
organized, but I think that they may be similar if any research is
Graduate school in general is about narrowing your interests and becoming
very knowledgeable about a certain, specific topic. You'd be amazed at
the narrowness this may involve, especially in a Ph.D. project. It
sounds like what you are interested may be a new field or a merging of
several fields (although since I"m not sure what it is you actually do,
this is kind of a guess). If you can find a program that contains all
the components you are interested in, that's great, but be aware that you
may have to narrow your scope. Usually it becomes easier to focus once
you start with a general question and delve into all the pieces that fit
into your particular puzzle. Try to use your profs to help you narrow
down...start asking specific questions about these different areas and
figure out which question is the most interesting to you.
If you can link up with someone who's been where you are you could really
pick her brain...ask people in these areas what they actually,
physically, DO...does it sound like something you'd like to do? This is
an important distinction between undergrad and grad school - in undergrad
the focus is on classwork, tests, etc. In grad school the focus is on
producing data...doing things, and classes are seen as a necessary evil.
One very important thing to know about once you're interested in a
graduate school is MONEY. Will they pay you to do research? This is how
it works in most schools...You train under an advisor. Hopefully this
person has grants (read: money from the gov't or someplace else) to carry
out the work that you are interested in. So in theory it's a win/win
situation...you get to learn and do research that you're interested in
and your advisor gets to use the data you produce to include in his/her
future grants to get more $$ and more students.
However, if your advisor doesn't have so much $ then you may be required
to teach to support yourself. This is a tough situation...you need to
teach a lab section/discussion section and also try to keep up with your
research so you can graduate!
Hence, money and funding are good subjects to ask about. Another thing
to ask about is who is available to work with...will you get to rotate
and choose from several profs or do you have to choose before you even
I hope this helps. I'd also recommend attending the Graduate Outreach
Program team from the Medical College of WI if/when they visit Point. We
went last year and I think are also going again this year. While we are
a medical college, the students mainly talk about graduate school and
research, more of what I've told you.
Best of luck, Steph. Feel free to email me at jras at post.its.mcw.edu if I
can help in any way.
Jennifer L. Potter (presently hiding out from a snowstorm)
Medical College of WI (Milwaukee)
PS About the meeting, maybe you could post to the general biology section
of the web...I'm not sure about all of the subsections that exist, maybe
there's one that is more specific.
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