ESA 2016: Early Career Section Events

The Early Career Ecologist Section has been busy proposing, organizing, and collaborating to offer many events and resources in the near future. See our page for ESA 2016 for more details on these and other events! They include:

  • An Early Career Section Booth – Come and visit!
  • We’ve worked to make this a Parent-Friendly meeting. See our Blog Post.
  • Our Early Career Mentoring Program will be underway. A formalized mentoring program (initiated at ESA 2015) that pairs 10 early career mentees with 10 established ecologist mentors, and awards them $200 towards registration/travel costs of attending ESA. To learn more, see our Blog Post.

See below for details on early career focused events happening at ESA. * Events sponsored by the Early Career Section.


Sunday, August 7, 2016: 8:00 AM-5:00 PM, 125, Ft Lauderdale Convention Center.

  • Exploring Diverse Careers in Ecology. WK-11. The workshop provides activities and knowledge to help students and early career ecologists explore short- and long-term opportunities to pursue next-generation careers. Participants will hear about the experiences of ecologists who have taken diverse career paths, and engage in discussions that will address the challenges of next-generation careers while also maintaining scientific relevance.  In addition, we will include a segment on what next-generation jobs are presently available, how to design resumes/CVs for them, and the search engines useful for finding them.*

Monday, August 8, 2016, 11:30 AM-1:15 PM, at Grand Blrm A, Hilton Marina.

  • Federal Agency Networking. WK-24 Navigating federal agencies for research and funding opportunities in ecology can be complex, especially for early career investigators.  After a brief introduction about each organization present, representatives will meet with workshop participants in small groups to answer questions about their programs.*

Monday, August 8, 2016, 8:00 PM-10:00 PM, Grand Floridian Ballroom A, Ft Lauderdale Convention Center.

  • Career Hour: Networking Night! Become a Networking Rock Star. WK-28. In this fun workshop, learn the secrets of being a master networker – how to cultivate strategic mutually-beneficial relationships, find people to add to your networks, “work a room”, start conversations with people you have never met before, and obtain information that can set you on a path to career victory. The importance of and use of social networks will be emphasized and a step-by-step guide to leveraging LinkedIn will be explained. This evening event is meant to be a fun, interactive workshop.

Monday, August 8, 2016, 6:30 PM-8:00 PM, 318, Ft Lauderdale Convention Center.

  • ESA Early Career Ecologist Section Business Meeting.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016: 11:30 AM-1:15 PM, 301, Ft Lauderdale Convention Center.

  • Entrepreneurial Ecology: Applying Yourself Outside of the Box. WK-29. Owen Koff, a highly successful sales and marketing executive and South Florida Score counselor, will complement this by leading a hands on exercise focused on helping you turn your idea into a successful business initiative. South Florida Score is a dedicated team of business experts focused on assisting people devise and pursue successful business ventures through teaching and mentoring. We will conclude with a panel discussion, hearing from both the ecological and business perspective of entrepreneurship from our presenters.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016, 3:30 PM-5:00 PM, 316, Ft Lauderdale Convention Center.

  • Spanning the Boundary: Opportunities for Ecologists in the Science-Policy Nexus. IGN-2. The session will feature speakers sharing their unique experiences and an extended discussion at the end with all the speakers to ask your questions about science, policy, and the various opportunities available. Speakers will also talk about the application process and give tips for succeeding. This is your chance to hear about many of the major fellowships, internships, awards, and opportunities for ecologists in the science-policy nexus.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016: 6:30 PM-8:00 PM, Grand Floridian Blrm H, Ft Lauderdale Convention Center.

  • ESA Joint Section Mixer (Agroecology, Applied, Asian, Early Career, Education, Human, Inclusive, International, Justice, Long-term Studies, Rangeland, TEK, and Urban).

Tuesday, August 9, 2016: 6:00 PM-10:00 PM,  305, Ft Lauderdale Convention Center.

  • Career Hour: Transitioning Your Career Beyond Academia. WK-36. We will examine how to craft a successful strategy to research, prepare and ultimately transition to a career outside academia, and we will explore how to determine the right careers for your needs, desires and ambitions. And finally, we will keep in mind that even though we may leave academia now, we still can stay connected and collaborative with colleagues in higher education, as we may want to come back in the future. We will discuss tactics to ensuring the door is always open for your return.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016, 8:00 AM-9:30 AM, 316, Ft Lauderdale Convention Center.

  • Managing Early Years of Tenure Track. IGN-3. Each speaker will give a 5-minute “ignite-style” talk about their particular perspective, followed by open Q&A to address topics such as establishing and growing your research group, managing startup, teaching your first class, integrating teaching and research, how to say “no”, finding and being a good mentor, choosing effective collaborators, work/life balance, getting writing done, and how to work with your tenure committee.*

Wednesday, August 10, 2016, 8:00 PM-10:00 PM, Grand Ballroom AB, Hilton Marina.

  • What Editors Want: An Author’s Guide to Scientific Journal Publishing. WK-38. Research publications are key to building a successful career in science, yet early-career researchers usually receive little or no formal instruction on how to get their papers peer reviewed, accepted, and published by leading scientific journals. This workshop, geared towards PhD students and early-career researchers, will provide clear guidance and instruction on some of the major obstacles and pitfalls you will face as an author: choosing the right journal; authorship issues; copyright; figure preparation; how to write an effective cover letter; peer review and decision letters –  and there will be plenty of time for questions.

Thursday, August 11, 2016, 8:00 AM-9:30 AM, 316, Ft Lauderdale Convention Center.

  • Empowering Diverse Ecologists to Follow Their Passion in Multiple Career Paths to Job Security and Meeting Societal Needs. IGN-7. Speakers will highlight careers and skills in non-academic fields and pathways that allow for multiple career changes from academic to non-academic ecology fields. Recommendations for essential ecology job skills, networking collaborations, assessing the value of ESA Professional Certification, and the ability to communicate to diverse audiences will be emphasized throughout. The speakers will explore the transformation needed in our educational institutions and in ESA to better support diverse career paths.

Thursday, August 11, 2016, 10:00 AM-11:30 AM, 316, Ft Lauderdale Convention Center.

  • Challenges and Strategies for early career personal and professional development. IGN-8. The first section of this lunch session will be devoted to short (5-10 minute), ignite-style presentations from 4-6 presenters. The second section will feature a group discussion open to questions from attendees. This session is intended to offer support for early career ecologists and to generate dialogue about ways that ESA and the greater scientific community can aid in the personal and professional development of these individuals during transitional career stages.*

Thursday, August 11, 2016: 11:30 AM-1:15 PM, 302, Ft Lauderdale Convention Center.

  • Strategies and Best Practices for Mentoring Undergraduate Students in Research. WK-44. This workshop will begin with an introduction by speakers on strategies for effectively mentoring undergraduate students. Then, attendees will be divided into small groups which will spend roughly 7.5 minutes discussing each of the topics. At the end of the small group discussions, participants will reconvene and compile specific strategies for addressing each of the topics. Strategies discussed during this workshop will be written up into a “Best Practices for Mentoring Undergraduates” document that will be made publicly available through the RUI section website.*

Thursday, August 11, 2016, 11:30 AM-1:15 PM, 315, Ft Lauderdale Convention Center.

  • Navigating NSF. WK-42. This workshop will provide early career ecologists with information on NSF’s structure, new directions, and how they can get involved to ensure they can make the most of the funding opportunities NSF presents. Presentations will be followed by a 1-hour panel discussion with Olds, Wilson, and Kratz answering audience questions.*

Thursday, August 11, 2016: 11:30 AM-1:15 PM, 317, Ft Lauderdale Convention Center.

  • Using Logic Models to Write Successful Grant Proposals. WK-45. This workshop is designed to meet the needs of any ecologist who wants to enhance their planning and grant-writing skills.  Will introduce the Kellogg Logic Model as an effective planning and grant-writing tool.  We will then guide participants through an exercise that demonstrates how creating a logic model can help them produce an effective grant proposal and increase their success.

Thursday, August 11, 2016: 11:30 AM-1:15 PM, 304, Ft Lauderdale Convention Center.

  • Career Hour: Introduction to Negotiation Strategy and Tactics. WK-39. Learn how to create a win-win situation and negotiate right from start to finish in the job decision process. Clarifying your needs and wants, and those of the other party are key. The negotiation skills you learn are valuable in that they can be applied to any situation in your professional (and even personal) life. Come with any questions you have about this or other career-related topics!



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