Flying Fish

Month of Milestones
by Nicole Carlozo -- August 22nd, 2013

I couldn’t help but feel nostalgic today when I browsed facebook and saw all the Nicholas School orientation pictures. Has it really been 3 years since I began my journey at the Nic School –  worrying about my calculus placement test, maneuvering my way into Lori Bennear’s Resource and Environmental Economics class, and stressing out over “making it” in graduate school?

2011 and 2012 NOAA Fellows at our annual meeting in Charleston, SC.

2011 and 2012 NOAA Fellows at our annual meeting in Charleston, SC.

Not only have 3 years passed since I stepped onto the Durham campus, but today marks the one year anniversary of my job as a NOAA Fellow with the MD Department of Natural Resources.


And to top it all off, last week I celebrated my 27th Birthday. I’m not sure when I got so old (just kidding…sort of).

August truly represents a month of milestones for me, personally and professionally. And what better way to acknowledge those milestones than to reach out and celebrate with the Nicholas School Community? I couldn’t take the comradery of the GIS lab or the relaxed atmosphere of Beaufort with me when I left Duke, but I didn’t leave empty handed. And neither will the students starting this fall.

If I could offer 3 pieces of advice from my time spent as a student and early professional, this would be it:

1) Explore new ideas and interests, but don’t let others steer you away from your passions. Despite what others may think, we’re not all the same! Everyone is unique in their skills, goals, and purpose in life.

2) Success and relationships go hand in hand. I know this is hard to hear (especially for us introverts), but I’ve found that some extra effort and a bit of friendliness can go a long way. A few doors may even be opened for you down the road (conferences, trainings, technical help, etc).

3) Don’t forget to step back every once in a while and acknowledge what you have accomplished! Every project, meeting, conference, and report puts you one step closer to your goals. Whether you realize it or not, every little step represents something new you have learned.

As the second year of my fellowship starts, I hope to update this blog more frequently. Let me know if there is anything in particular you’d like to read about, and thanks for sticking with me!


  1. Erika Lovelace
    Aug 22, 2013

    Many thanks, Nicole! I’m not a MEM student, and yet I feel inspired after reading your blog! Best, Erika 🙂

  2. Shannon Switzer
    Aug 27, 2013

    Thank you for your motivating words, Nicole! Even after the first day of classes, these are already valuable reminders 🙂

  3. Lou Carlozo
    Sep 2, 2013

    I couldn’t be more proud of my niece! Fantastic to read about your progress…

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