SS 25
Concerns and Challenges in Personal and Professional Development for Early Career Ecologists

Wednesday, August 12, 2015: 8:00 PM-10:00 PM
302, Baltimore Convention Center
Daniel R. Scholes, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Sarah R. Supp, University of Maine; and Daniel E. Stanton, University of Minnesota - Twin Cities
Karen A. Wilson, University of Southern Maine; Sara E. Scanga, Utica College; Jessica A. Homyack, Weyerhaeuser Company; Simon J Goring, University of Wisconsin; Anita T. Morzillo, University of Connecticut; and Joseph K. Bump, Michigan Technological University
Recent graduates often experience several years of transitional career development before establishing job security in permanent employment.  Short-term positions may be held during this period in an effort to develop skills to improve professional candidacy or to explore career alternatives.  Once permanent employment has been obtained, new hires may find they still lack sufficient experience (e.g., administration, project management, course development, grant writing, or research publishing) to best fulfill their job duties.  This period of time often also coincides with substantial personal development, leading to greater work-life balance challenges than in earlier career stages.

In light of these challenges, this special session is a collection of presentations by ESA members who have recently published in ESA journals on topics relevant to early career ecologists.  Speakers will present the contents of their articles with updated information relative to the current challenges of early career ecologists.  Topics will include work-family balance, dual careers, strategies for gaining employment, strategies for first-year teaching, methods for generating novel research questions, and measures of success for early career ecologists.  Presentations will each be approximately 10 minutes in length and a guided discussion will follow.  Given the broad sampling of issues presented, discussion will be focused on identifying strategies for early career ecologists to face these challenges and on ways for ESA and the greater scientific community to aid in the personal/professional development of early career ecologists during transitional career stages.

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