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challenges

Research site networks

USDA Forest Service Experimental Forests & Ranges and Research Natural Areas As an early career ecologist, securing funds for new, field-based studies can be challenging.  One strategy is to collaborate on existing studies.  This type of collaboration is cost efficient because study establishment is already completed, allowing collaboration to focus on continuing the original objectives (e.g., re-measuring) or developing new…

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Team science techniques for highly effective teams

Ecology is becoming an increasingly collaborative science, as seen in part by the increasing number of authors on ecology publications. As an early career ecologist, you’ve probably already worked in at least a few, and maybe many, collaborative research teams, whether your collaborators came from within your lab group, or institutions around the world. You’ve probably also already realized that…

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Teaching as training for scientific communication

It is clear that the role of scientists in society has shifted over the past few decades. With the explosion of communication methods and accessible information/disinformation at one’s fingertips, dissemination of science is falling more and more on the shoulders of the scientists themselves. There is no longer one way for the public to acquire scientific findings (science journalists) and…

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Early career ecologists, why engage with the corporate sector?

I was first exposed to the notion of corporate engagement when I read a New Yorker piece that featured interviews with Peter Kareiva and Mark Tercek.  Peter is former Chief Scientist at The Nature Conservancy (TNC) and Mark is a former executive at Goldman Sachs and now CEO of TNC.  TNC and other big conservation NGOs have really advanced 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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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 (http://www.landis-ii.org/).  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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Navigating the pre-tenure years

Lessons learned so far I am just a couple of days away from starting my second semester as an Assistant Professor, and it seems like a good time to reflect on what I’ve learned so far. First, a brief background. I received a PhD in Ecology and Evolution from Stony Brook University in April 2014. I began a postdoc at…

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Results from the Early Career member survey

Post written by Sarah Supp In October, we took a brief survey of our members to try to identify what topics are of key concern for the Early Career Ecologist (ECE) Section and to address a few questions that ESA leadership specifically had regarding early career perspectives on ESA membership. I attended the ESA Governing Board meeting November 5-6, 2015…

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