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What can this program provide and prepare me to do?

During your journey as a Miami University graduate student, you will have access to useful services and opportunities, including:
  • Miami University Library. Free access to thousands of online books, journals, and articles. Real-time librarian research support, citation management, interlibrary loans, and more. 
  • Miami’s Howe Center for Writing Excellence. Award winning writing center provides online help on writing assignments for individuals and groups as well as additional programming and events. 
  • Center for Career Excellence and Success. Offers resume review, job search help, mock interview preparation, and more. 
  • Statistics Consulting. Available by request. 
  • Software. Free access to Microsoft Suite, Zoom, VPN, ArcGIS, statistics programs, and more. 
  • Miller Center for Student Disability Services. Support and access for a range of abilities. 
  • Graduate Student Organizations. Network and connect with organizations such as Graduate Students of Color and Graduate Student Pride Association. 
  • Free discussions, lectures, and talks. Miami University faculty and staff as well as off-campus scholars are regularly invited to share their knowledge and experience.
  • Being a part of a vibrant and acclaimed university community. Founded in 1809, Miami is one of the eight original “Public Ivy” schools and is known for excellence in education, having been recognized in the U.S. News & World Report  as first among public universities with “an exceptionally strong commitment to teaching.”

What do Dragonfly alumni say about the program?

Marsha Sisney

"The project-based activities opened up a world of opportunities for me to explore and inspire others to establish connections with nature.”

- Marsha Sisney, M.A. '18, a treasurer for the Great Lakes Educators of Aquatic and Marine Science in Chicago, Illinois

Kate Hankins

"Conserving animals can only happen with and for the local people, and we will always be stronger for including them."

- Kate Hankins, a current student in the Global Field Program and animal care specialist at the Museum of Life and Science in Durham, North Carolina

Jonathan Spencer

“Working full-time is demanding, so I really appreciate the flexibility of the degree.”

- Jonathan Spencer, M.A. '23, a data scientist for the United States Postal Service in St. Louis, Missouri

As a graduate student in Dragonfly’s master’s programs, you can:

Network with conservation-minded individuals. Interact with dozens of inspiring fellow Dragonfly students working in schools, conservation organizations, non-profits, and businesses across the USA and internationally. Connections can lead to new ideas for implementing conservation education programs locally or globally. 

Be supported by a compassionate and inspiring instructional team. All Dragonfly instructors hold a master’s or PhD in biology/ecology/conservation and have Graduate Level Instructional Standing at Miami University. Most have worked in non-profits or the education and conservation fields for many years and are dedicated to supporting students working on their master’s while balancing busy lives. 

Connect with organizations making a difference. Dragonfly students work with organizations such as the Green Teacher, National Marine Educators Association, North American Association of Enviromental Educators, Zoos and Aquariums Committed to Conservation, and more. 

Gain scientific content knowledge and expertise. Courses focus on biodiversity threats and conservation, evolution, community engagement, inquiry-based education, and more. This knowledge can be beneficial in current work environments or can help prepare a master’s student for a new career or further education. Graduates of the program report significant growth in their ability to teach others about conservation, field methods, ecology/environmental science, and biological sciences (Longitudinal Survey Data). 

Grow as a leader. Dragonfly students present at numerous professional conference in addition to grassroots action such as biological monitoring, neighborhood water quality testing, community supported agriculture, and beach clean-ups. Some have used media as an outreach tool, creating blogs and videos to engage in sustainable actions and education. Graduates of the program report significant growth in their confidence as a leader in their community, professional work place, and in their ability to make important things happen in their community and work place (Longitudinal Survey Data). 

Publish your work. Dragonfly master’s candidates prepare and submit  a professional manuscript for publication. Dragonfly students have been published in journals such as The Science Teacher, Science and Children, Conservation Biology, American Educational Research Journal, and Applied Animal Behavior Science. A full list of student publications is available here

Make change in your community.  Whether you're early in your career or you're experienced in the workplace and looking to change focus, at the heart of this program is making environmental and social change in your community, whatever “community” means to you (your neighborhood, school district, workplace, zoo, nature center, metropark, city, faith family, etc.). Students drive their own master’s experience through projects they design, so where you end up depends on where you want to go.

Dragonfly students have landed new positions and careers such as: 

  • Instructor, Curriculum-Designer, and Learning Specialists at universities
  • Education Lead, Animal Curator, or Keepers at zoos and botanical gardens 
  • Facility Manager and Directors of nature centers
  • Teaching Fellows with National Geographic
  • Grant awardees with NOAA and other organizations
  • Successful admission to Ph.D. programs
  • New non-profit or business creators.

Apply to Project Dragonfly