Sean Michaletz (2009)

From an “Focus on Ecologists” maintained by the ESA Education Office about 2009-2011.

sean_small-avatar1

Full Name Sean T. Michaletz
Degree Ph.D. 2005 (University of Calgary)
Job Position Ecologist
Organization University of Calgary
Department Biogeoscience Institute
Professional Affiliation Academic
Research Discipline Plant Ecology
For each degree you’ve obtained, list the degree, field, and institution. BA, biology and environmental studies in chemistry, Hamline University.
MSc, plant ecology, University of Calgary.
PhD, plant ecology, University of Calgary.
Briefly describe your job path. I’ve loved math, science, and the outdoors since childhood, but my experience at the University of Minnesota’s LTER site ultimately convinced me to pursue a career in ecology. There I learned what a research career was really like. I worked with scientists from diverse fields in ecology and the geosciences, and was also able to complete an honors research thesis under supervision of Peter B. Reich. I am currently a PhD candidate at the University of Calgary, under supervision of Edward A. Johnson.
Who or what inspired you to become a scientist (or other profession)? I became interested in the science of ecology through university coursework and the internship program at the University of Minnesota’s LTER site. My primary influence has been my graduate advisor Edward A. Johnson, who taught me to think critically, read widely, and use creative approaches to understand how nature works.
What is the most valuable advice a mentor gave you or that you would offer to someone who’d like to do the same job as you? Start early and stay active. As an undergraduate, develop a strong background in the math, science, and computing; this will be invaluable during graduate school and your professional career. Get a wide variety of research experiences to help you decide what field(s) to pursue during graduate school. Along the way, make an effort to meet as many professional scientists as possible; this network will be important for future collaborations and job opportunities.
Award Name E. Lucy Braun Award
Year originally profiled. 2003

Profile updated 2009

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