Anjali D. Boyd
Ph.D. Student, Duke University
Marine Ecologist, Educator, Entrepreneur, and Elected Official
Anjali Boyd is a Duke University Ph.D. Student and Dean's Graduate Fellow in the Nicholas School of the Environment. She received her B.S. in Marine Science from Eckerd College as a NOAA Hollings Scholar. Her research examines how species interactions (both intra and inter) and physical forces interact to regulate the recovery of foundation species to environmental stressors. Anjali aspires to develop novel ecosystem-based restoration and management practices to restore foundation species world-wide. She is fiercely committed to increasing representation of women and ethnic minorities’ in ocean sciences and elevating the voices and contributions of student and early career scientists. She has served as the Chair and Vice-Chair of the Ecological Society of America's Student Section, an appointed member of the Ecological Society of America's Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Justice taskforce, Treasurer/Secretary of the Society of Wetland Scientists' Student Section, and member of the Coastal and Estuarine Research Federation Broadening Participation Committee. Additionally, as the Director of iNviTechnology (iNviTECH), she works to combat the underrepresentation of women and ethnic minorities in STEM fields through educational entrepreneurial programs to engage young children ages 0-5 and K-12 students. Anjali also serves as an elected official in her hometown of Durham, N.C. as Durham County Soil and Water Conservation District Supervisor.
How did you get started on your career path?
My first time being exposed to the field of Marine Science was my junior year of High School, during an elective science class. Prior to that class, I had little knowledge of environmental issues/careers and virtually nothing about marine science. The following summer, I had the privilege of attending the University of Miami Marine Science Summer Scholars’ program where I participated in my first hands-on research experience in the marine environment. After attending that life-changing program, I discarded my original list of colleges and spent the rest of the summer compiling a new list, which consisted of colleges and universities with highly ranked marine science programs. Ultimately, I ended up attending Eckerd College and majoring in Marine Science (Biology Track).
What is one thing you wish you would have known when you were getting started in your STEM journey?
Earlier on in my career, I wish I had access to a network of other Black scientists to get advice and guidance on how to navigate my field as a Black Women. Additionally, I wish I knew all the career opportunities available to me in my field, outside of academia.
What is one piece of advice you would give to Black/BIPOC women who are interested in STEM careers?
"Whether you think you can or you can't, you're right...so ALWAYS think you CAN!"
As Black women in some of the least racially diverse STEM fields, there will be more than enough people trying to tell you what you can and cannot do. Do not listen to them. Do NOT allow people to project their limitations/insecurities onto you. YOU CAN DO WHATEVER YOU PUT YOUR MIND TO.
Alsoooo, apply for EVERYTHING, act as if you're overqualified for any and every position/opportunity, because you ARE!
What current projects and initiatives are you working on?
I am currently working on a few new projects/initiatives:
US National Committee for UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development
In January 2021, I became the youngest (and only student) selected as an Early Career Liaison (ECL) for the Nation Academy of Sciences (NAS) US National Committee for UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development. As an ECL, my work focuses on creating programs/initiatives to actively engage and elevate the voices and contributions of students and early-career scientists in the ocean sciences.
Innovative Environmental Stewards Internship
As the Director of iNviTECH, I have been working on the launch of our new innovative Environmental Stewards Internship program. The internship program pairs motivated college interns with projects of interest within local government agencies in Durham, N.C., such as the Durham Soil and Water Conservation District. Interns will work alongside government staff and elected officials on a project in one of the six focus areas: 1) Communications, 2) Community Engagement, 3) Environmental Education, 4) Economic Development, 5) Policy and Grant Writing, and 6) Stream and Wetland Restoration. The internship program launches in March 2021.