Beyond Academia (Open Format)
Tuesday, August 6, 2013: 11:30 AM-1:15 PM
101B, Minneapolis Convention Center
Scott Chamberlain, ROpenSci
Sandra Chung, NEON, Inc.
As ecologists, we often start graduate school worshiping the ivory tower of academia with its freedom to pursue important ecological questions. However, studies have shown that most of us do not end up in academia. Greater numbers of ecology graduates are leaving the ivory tower for non-academic career paths. But for many graduates, moving from an academic environment to a non-academic job may be difficult. In graduate school we are trained to work in a particular way, often with loose deadlines and unlimited intellectual freedom. The culture and expectations of the non-academic world may be quite different. What are the skills that you need in a government job, in science journalism, or in a private sector job? How do you market yourself for a non-academic position? This is a timely topic because funding to academic ecologists is being cut, leaving fewer opportunities in the academic arena. In fact, an ESA Student Section survey found that an ESA 2013 session on non-academic career paths in ecology was the topic of greatest interest. In this session, we will provide panelists from an array of non-academic jobs to offer advice and share their experiences. Each panelist will speak briefly, introducing themselves and a bit about what they do. The majority of the time will be reserved for an open discussion with a combination of prepared questions and questions from the audience (both in person and via Twitter). Confirmed panelists: Mark Hahnel (private sector), Virginia Gewin (science journalist), Jeff Herrick (government). Panelists will also be found to represent careers in: consultant, non-profit sector, science outreach, publishing.