My groups ENVS 330 project on Nuclear energy has come a long way. We started by looking at nuclear energy in France and Germany, realized that we had a distance and language barrier that really complicated our methods (I was the only one who could read and write German and even I can’t understand spoken German so I couldn’t understand TV interviews). And so, we switched to the Diablo Canyon nuclear energy plant in California and investigated why the plant was closing. At first we had about 3 different methods including GIS and other methods that did not quite relate to our focus and framing question, and we eventually narrowed down to one method of narrative analysis. We have been working on this project almost the entire semester, and are finally almost done. We have finished our final paper and are wrapping up our DS project site and poster for Festival of Scholars.
I have to say I am incredibly proud of my group. This by far has been the project where my group has sustained the most frequent amount of communication and regular meeting times. Despite several drawbacks that came up, making it hard to meet and keep in touch with each other, we have managed to keep in constant contact with each other about where we were in the project and what we still needed to do. And, we have found ways to have meetings, such as through face time, even when there was no way for us to meet in person. I feel incredibly fortunate to have been part of such a dedicated, communicative group, and am proud of us all. While my research groups in the past have been communicative, this group definitely reached a new level, and I think it say something about how far all of us have come in our environmental studies education, including myself.
Even though I appreciate how much practice I have had in ENVS with working with other people, and have worked on projects I could never have done by myself, I have always had trouble working with other people. I often prefer to work individually, and because of this have often taken charge in group projects and persuaded my project partners to go along with my visions. I started this project the same way. I adamantly advocated the topic of nuclear energy in France and Germany, even though no one else in the group spoke those two languages. But throughout this project I have learned to be adaptable, and when my group members spoke out about their concerns about our research design, I learned to be more flexible and try out another idea. I am very happy I did. I learned a lot more researching a new topic that I wouldn’t have proposed on my own. I learned a lot by listening more openly to other ideas and letting everyone in the group be leaders.