Native American Heritage Month at Physical Sciences
November is Native American Heritage Month. It's a time to reflect on the history of the first Americans, who came to this continent thousands of years ago, and who built thriving civilizations and cultures that, when Europeans arrived, endured annihilation. Join the School of Physical Sciences and learn about the ways in which Native Americans move science forward — and, also, how they move the people around them.
PS: Tell us about who you are and about your research.
I’m Franklin Dollar, a member of the Dry Creek Band of Pomo Indians and an Associate Professor in the Department of Physics & Astronomy at UCI. I study ultrafast laser matter interactions, and how we can convert laser energy into beams of particles and X-rays for next-generation microscopes. I also try to understand how physics education can be improved, from mentorship, to curriculum, to environment.
PS: What advice do you have for Native American students who are considering a career in STEM?
The most important thing you learn with a degree like physics is how to solve problems in the real world. This is useful in nearly any career, and can provide the flexibility to try out different career paths. So though you may not know what you want to do today, as you work and learn you will be able to find your own path.