Eventually, outreach my full-time gig at the Armand Frappier Museum (AFM), which raises awareness of life sciences in general and microbiology and biotechnology in particular. I coordinated the AFM’s two largest programmes: group visits and summer science camps. Besides delivering content to AFM clientele, I trained all its guides to do so and helped create a new science camp (Environment and Biodiversity). I certainly loved my work but, after two and a half years, I was itching to return to field research.
So, it was time to go for my PhD. Outreach even influenced my choice of supervisor. Robert Barclay, at University of Calgary is recognised for being one of the world’s foremost bat biologists, an award-winning educator and for his commitment to outreach. Indeed, he required all his grad students to do outreach. Perfect. Over my time in Calgary, I engaged with the public about bats and the need to conserve them in all kinds of venues. Again, I found that bringing a live bat to my talks or having people come out for a night of fieldwork was so beneficial. After all, bats being among the world’s most misunderstood and maligned animals, it’s awesome when at the end of an event, the whole audience is exclaiming over how cute and amazing bats are and avowing a desire to protect them.