Navigating a Career in Science: from Experimental Atomic Physics to AGU
Building and sustaining a satisfying career in the geosciences involves hard work, some luck, some pluck - and a lot off tenacity. In this presentation I will recount some lessons I learned - and am still learning - on my own path from a start in a graduate program in experimental atomic physics to my current position as president of the AGU and Director of the National Center for Atmospheric Research. The presentation will describe some of the scientific and science management contributions of which I am most proud - and some of the dead ends too. AGU, in particular, has been an excellent resource and venue for connecting with colleagues and following the evolution of dynamic fields of inquiry in the geosciences. AGU is still evolving and the presentation will also describe some of the current trends that make the Union such an interesting and valuable hub for our field.
The Balancing Act: Lessons From A Non-Linear Career
Careful planning of one's career seldom works as expected. We will discuss some key approaches to decision making about career steps, and strategies for navigating the opportunities and challenges of a dynamic geosciences career and family life.
Maximizing Research Productivity and Recognition: Strategies for Junior Scientists
The post-doc and the first six years of the academic lifecycle are crucial: the performance and decisions a scientist makes during this time often set the stage for the rest of his or her career. We frame our presentation around the criteria that reviewers typically use to assess candidates: reputation, impact, and productivity. Publication productivity is one of the most critical aspects of a researcher's success and the number of publications is often the first item that evaluators look for when reviewing files of job applicants and tenure candidates. Citations are typically used as a measure of impact, but they reflect a complicated set of factors besides quality, for example, visibility, size of citing community, and integration in social and professional networks. Letters of recommendation carry significant weight in evaluations for promotion because they are the only external measure that synthesizes all three parameters: reputation, impact and productivity. We have developed strategies for developing a research plan, getting the most out of scientific meetings, identifying potential letter writers, and integrating research into teaching. In this presentation we combine insights from the literature with our own experiences, to outline these strategies for increasing research productivity, recognition, and impact.