Social Steps Podcast

Women in STEM, Environmental Scientist and Researcher in the United States – Social Steps #11

Women in STEM, Environmental Scientist and Researcher in the United States – Social Steps #11 Social Steps

What’s it like to work as an environmental scientist and researcher? Why do we need more women in this field?

I’m highly honored to start a new category called ‘Women in STEM’. The main goal is to inspire and empower women to get into science, technology, engineering and math.

I’ll speak with women who are pursuing STEM degrees or working in the field and discuss their stories, experiences, challenges they face, goals they have, study and career advice.

To kick off this category, I catch up with the environmental scientist and researcher Matilda Odera. After getting a scholarship, she moved from Kenya to the US to study and set up a successful career in the environmental sector.

Matilda talks about how she managed to go to the US, her challenges as an international student, research experiences in graduate school, funding opportunities for prospective graduate students, the importance of networking and why we need more women in environmental science.



  • Matilda Odera, environmental scientist and researcher. Master of Science in Natural Resources with a concentration in Policy and Administration from North Carolina State University

Topics discussed:

  • 00:00 Introduction
  • 02:04 Who is Matilda Odera?
  • 03:55 How did you become interested in environmental topics?
  • 06:28 Current investigation
  • 11:47 A day in the life of a master’s student
  • 17:18 Classes at Meredith College and North Carolina State University
  • 23:12 Funding opportunities and scholarships
  • 27:48 Who inspires you?
  • 29:55 Which are the challenges women have to overcome in your field?
  • 33:17 Why did you decide to study in the United States? Better place for women scientists?
  • 35:35 How to encourage more women to work in your field?
  • 39:45 Universities and the gender gap
  • 42:08 How to engage more men in gender equality discussions?
  • 43:38 Books, documentaries, movies recommendations and career advice
  • 49:45 Final message for women in STEM
  • 52:42 Ending

Organization mentioned by Matilda for scholarships and funding:

  • Zawadi Africa

Matilda’s recommendations:

  • Avatar by James Cameron;
  • Okja by Bong Joon-ho Solar;
  • Storms by Linda Hogan;
  • Transcendent Kingdom by Yaa Giasi;
  • An Enemy of the People by Arthur Miller;
  • A Sand County Almanac by Aldo Leopold;
  • Toxic Communities by Dorceta Taylor;
  • Silent Spring by Rachel Carson;
  • The Big Conservation Lie by Mordecai Ogada and John Mbaria.

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