Exploring Diverse Career Pathways in Ecology
Sunday, August 4, 2013: 12:00 PM-5:00 PM
Director's 2, Hilton Minneapolis
Richard V. Pouyat, USDA Forest Service
Deborah Goldberg, University of Michigan
Ecology provides the foundation for a broad array of career pathways in academic, government, non-profit, and private sectors. However, graduate training in ecology is, by definition, an academic endeavor. This can lead to an inherent limitation in which graduate students are not provided the skill sets needed to be successful outside of academia or lack opportunities and models for career advancement. We propose a workshop providing activities and knowledge to help students and early career ecologists explore short- and long-term opportunities to pursue career pathways beyond academia. Participants will hear about the experiences of ecologists who have taken diverse career paths, and engage in discussions that will address the challenges of taking non-traditional pathways while also maintaining scientific relevance. The workshop will begin with introductory remarks from Deborah Goldberg (V.P. Science), followed by a presentation by Richard Pouyat (former V.P. Public Affairs, Science Committee) on the importance of academically-trained ecologists engaging in diverse careers. Phyllis Thibodeau (Professional Career Consultant at Smith School of Business, UMCP) will then conduct an interactive workshop to help students clarify personal and professional “values-driven mission”, combined with practical strategies for career navigation. An Ignite-style session will highlight challenges and opportunities for ecologists in a variety of fields; the eight presenters will then engage in a panel discussion with the workshop participants. Finally, a facilitated discussion will address what ESA and the ecological community in general can do to encourage the pursuit of diverse career paths.