Early career

Playing tug-of-war

Do you recall playing a little game called tug-of-war as a child (or even as an adult)? If you were playing with one other person, you’d stand on one side, they’d stand on the other, with a rope held between you. You and your friend (or foe) would start tugging the rope and whomever pulled the other person over a line in the center would be declared the winner. Sometimes it’s muddy and sometimes it’s one group of friends versus another group of friends.

Apr 16, 2018
Adrienne Wootten

Finding mentors and making it work long-distance: Perspectives from an NSF GRIP Intern

Today my colleague asked me, “are you going to test these sensors on a tree up in the mountains so you can go somewhere out-of-town?” My response was, “Nope, I’m putting them on trees at campus and at my house.” This colleague, an engineer who works in the basement of our building, looked at me like I was missing a grand opportunity. I had to explain more about why I’m psyched to work on city trees before he came around.

Mar 27, 2018
Deidre Jaeger

Balancing Grad School and a Career

Many early-career scientists balance a multitude of roles when attending graduate school, from the heavy demands of coursework and research to teaching and thesis and dissertation writing, not to mention the added responsibilities of a job or career.

Mar 12, 2018
Aparna Bamzai-Dodson and Lindsey Middleton

How to achieve work-life balance: Stories of success from CSC Science Moms

As we gear up for Women’s History Month, the Early Career Climate Forum and the Fisheries Blog are joining forces to highlight and build upon the personal stories of female researchers in our scientific networks by showcasing perspectives from the Department of Interior Climate Science Centers (CSCs).

Featured Science Moms

Feb 26, 2018
DR. TONI LYN MORELLI, DR. ABBY LYNCH, DR. NICOLE DECRAPPEO AND DR. MICHELLE STAUDINGER

Now Hiring! Where to Look for Summer Funding

Graduate funding often matches the 9-month term that most professors hold, so not every graduate student has access to year-round funding. Perhaps you pick up a job at the local coffee shop, or maybe you move back home for three months, or maybe you have somehow saved enough money to have a white-knuckle penniless ride through JJA (that’s June, July, and August in climate-speak). However, did you know that there are numerous routes to funding your summer, while doing something you love AND forwarding your career?! We have listed some traditional and non-conventional methods here.

Jan 22, 2018
Clay Tucker and Taylor Rowley

Lessons from an early-career social scientist

My interest in understanding the biological, cultural, and historical context of the human experience started at a very young age, and continues to this day. I am an environmental anthropologist, and currently an NC CSC fellow and PhD student in Ecology at Colorado State University. My training has been broad, and has allowed me to work in very different systems. I started down my career path working in Central Asia to understand the late Pleistocene biogeography of humans and Neanderthals during glacial and interglacial periods.

May 15, 2017
Tyler Beeton

The existential crisis of being a graduate student

So, we’re in graduate school, ready to throw ourselves into a new chapter of life as “early career scientists.” Now what? We’re in a new world with endless possibilities and unknown limits - where do we even begin?

My first year in Fairbanks, AK I worked as a technician at the University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF) and spent much of the first few weeks of the academic year pestering any natural sciences professor that would listen to me.

“I don’t have any funding - come back with a question and maybe we can figure something out.”

Feb 6, 2017
Lindsey Parkinson

The Inside Story: Highlights and perspectives from the first ever National CSC Early Career Training

On November 2nd and 3rd, the first ever National CSC Early Career Training was held at UMass Amherst. Over 2-days, students from across the U.S. heard about peer reserach ranging from butterflies in North Carolina, paleoclimatology along the Gulf Coast, to how wild berries are impacted by fire regimes in Alaska, along with so much more. In case you missed it, Andrew Battles wrote a short summary a few weeks ago.

Dec 11, 2016
Toni Klemm

Keeping Your Sanity Pre-Defense

The past three months have been the most hectic for me in quite awhile.  In August, I started on the final stages of my dissertation, putting everything together to finish my Ph.D.  All of it culminated right at the end of October with my defense.  Thankfully for me everything came together, and I passed!!  Yes, I was nervous and stressed out (and occasionally frustrated) in the weeks prior to my defense, but I didn’t lose my sanity. What got me through it? Three things: balance, support, and perspective.

Nov 21, 2016
Adrienne Wootten

In case you blinked, here’s a review of the 2-day, action-packed, breakneck-paced, 1st ever National CSC Student and Early Career Training

Last week, I attended the National CSC Student and Early Career Training held at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, and left feeling inspired, empowered, and with many new friends. From November 2-3rd, students, postdocs, and professionals from the Department of the Interior’s National Climate Science Centers came together to share research, learn from one another, and improve our skills as collaborators and science communicators.

Nov 8, 2016
Andrew Battles