As some of you may know (and most of you don't), I recently changed my degree program from a Masters of Science in Geology to a Masters of Earth Science, which is a non-thesis option. There aren't really many drawbacks: I had barely done any concrete work on my thesis, and dropping the thesis allows me to take two extra interdisciplinary courses (I'm taking Water Policy in the West and Environmental Law).
I chose to switch because, over the last year and a half, I have realized that I don't have a lot of interest in doing academic research, which is what a thesis is and what a thesis prepares me to do. I don't actually care about the Wildhorse Shear Zone. I know a lot about it, and I've bled and sweated and cried there while doing scientific research, but I'm just not... excited about it. I have an issue with the fact that whatever research I do there is not really important in any circle other than academia. Yes, constraining the structure and timing of the shear zone is cool and all, and will help expand the story of the Blue Mountains and especially the Wallowa terrane, and maybe help shed light on how telescoping shear zones look after they've been buried by flood basalts... but it won't actually change anything. It's just another paper. So that's one reason: I don't care about it.
I have no problem with the act of research itself - I love it and embrace it and believe myself fully capable of it - but I'm way more interested in a weird little idea called science communication. I want to be a science communicator. I love talking to people about science (geology foremost, but give me a couple hours with the internet, a journal database and a subject and I'll talk to you about anything). I love seeing people understand what I'm talking about, and the challenge of translating scientific jargon into real words that are relevant to that person and that person's background. I've had this experience talking to my students, talking to my peers, talking to professors (mostly in non-geology fields), and talking to administrators that are curious as to what I'm doing.
I've gotten really involved in the workings of Boise State University - in the last year I've developed a program for them called the University Fellows Program, which is another blog post entirely, but is looking like it'll be implemented in the next year or so, which is blazing fast. I've gotten tangled up in the inner politics and bureaucratic tape of a university, and it turns out that I'm actually pretty good at navigating the morass (albeit with a couple of toes smooshed here and there). I don't know what to do with that skill, but I know what'll be challenging: mixing that skill at bureaucracy with my skills and training in science.