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Life Work Balance

On the challenges of life as a graduate student, scientist, and new mom

By Amanda J Gorton I was three weeks postpartum when I received the news that my post-doc fellowship had been selected for funding. My immediate feelings were a mixture of relief, excitement, and sheer panic. I was relieved that I had secured my next position and would not be unemployed after defending my PhD. I was excited to move in…

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Bullying and Harassment in the Workplace: Resources for Targets and their Allies

An ideal working environment involves a culture that expects and demonstrates civility and courtesy to all members of a professional community, regardless of identity and status. A culture of mutual respect will be free of abuse, and from retaliation against those who speak out against it. However, from Hollywood to Antarctica1, and from federal agencies2,3 to prestigious academic institutions4–6, the…

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Tips for striving toward work-life balance

Striving for Work-life Balance Being an early career ecologist is tough. Launching an ecology career requires a lot of hard work and sacrifice as you seek to set a research agenda, build collaborations, write grants, and publish, publish, publish. This is all the more challenging if you want to have a life outside of your career. I went to graduate…

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ESA 2016: Parent Accommodations

As the early bird deadline for the ESA Annual Meeting in Fort Lauderdale approaches (Thursday!), you might want to know about some parent accommodations that will be available there:   Lactation rooms at the conference center for nursing and pumping mothers. Private, quiet, and clean rooms for moms to nurse their babies or to pump breast milk. These rooms will…

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Photo credit: USDA Forest Service

Stuff I tell early career scientists

My name is Eric Gustafson and I am a landscape ecologist who specializes in forest landscape simulation modeling, particularly with the LANDIS-II model (  I received my PhD from Purdue University in 1992, and have been a Research Ecologist for the Northern Research Station of the U.S. Forest Service since then.  I am tempted to list my accomplishments so that…

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And then I went kablooie OR An ecologist’s transition from academia to a federal job

My friends from grad school knew me as the go-getter, the one with boundless energy and capacity to do “all the things!” During my PhD career, I juggled (largely successfully) multiple side research and writing projects, leading a local chapter for the Society for Conservation Biology (SCB), organizing BBQ’s and parties, a long-distance partner, and a voracious novel-reading habit along…

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