How do we ensure the future of our discipline is vibrant? Student reflections on careers and culture of ecology

How do we ensure the future of our discipline is vibrant? Student reflections on careers and... Ecology must attract and retain diverse talented people to produce innovative research and relevant solutions to 21st‐century environmental problems. Careers and culture form the foundation of scientific advancement, and substantial progress has been made over recent decades in both realms. Yet, important challenges persist in expanding career paths, inclusion of underrepresented groups, and communication with the public. The ESA Student Section organized a horizon scanning exercise to address the following goals: (1) to identify challenges that 21st‐century ecologists contend with or expect to contend with in careers and outreach to society, (2) to anticipate opportunities to help ecologists meet challenges, and (3) to identify concrete steps that could be taken by individual laboratories, institutions, and the ESA to foster progress. In spring 2016, the ESA Student Section solicited input from student members and organized a working group to assess the state of the discipline and to envision how we might cultivate a more inclusive and effective community. We identified three major challenges. First, PhDs are produced faster than academic positions become available and disconnects between academia and other sectors may keep early‐career ecologists from realizing the breadth of available positions. We propose an online jobs hub to make non‐academic sectors more accessible to ecologists. We also suggest students develop skills portfolios to prepare for non‐academic positions. Second, the composition of people who are ecologists differs from broader society, partially due to implicit biases and institutional barriers. We propose steps to reduce attrition of diversity in ecology that include countering implicit biases and creating mentorship networks. We offer steps to improve recruitment by increasing awareness of ecology among high school students and undergraduates and providing opportunities to engage in ecological research. Finally, ecology is only relevant if the public perceives it to be. We must improve science communication and begin cultivating trust. We propose that ad hoc communication by all ecologists is insufficient; translational ecologists should be hired in every department and formal training in translational ecology is necessary. We hope this paper catalyzes critical thinking and partnerships among students, professional ecologists, and the ESA to ensure the future of ecology is vibrant. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Ecosphere Wiley

Loading next page...
 
/lp/wiley/how-do-we-ensure-the-future-of-our-discipline-is-vibrant-student-0uH3po9Xqc
Publisher
Wiley Subscription Services, Inc., A Wiley Company
Copyright
© 2018 The Ecological Society of America
ISSN
2150-8925
eISSN
2150-8925
D.O.I.
10.1002/ecs2.2099
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Ecology must attract and retain diverse talented people to produce innovative research and relevant solutions to 21st‐century environmental problems. Careers and culture form the foundation of scientific advancement, and substantial progress has been made over recent decades in both realms. Yet, important challenges persist in expanding career paths, inclusion of underrepresented groups, and communication with the public. The ESA Student Section organized a horizon scanning exercise to address the following goals: (1) to identify challenges that 21st‐century ecologists contend with or expect to contend with in careers and outreach to society, (2) to anticipate opportunities to help ecologists meet challenges, and (3) to identify concrete steps that could be taken by individual laboratories, institutions, and the ESA to foster progress. In spring 2016, the ESA Student Section solicited input from student members and organized a working group to assess the state of the discipline and to envision how we might cultivate a more inclusive and effective community. We identified three major challenges. First, PhDs are produced faster than academic positions become available and disconnects between academia and other sectors may keep early‐career ecologists from realizing the breadth of available positions. We propose an online jobs hub to make non‐academic sectors more accessible to ecologists. We also suggest students develop skills portfolios to prepare for non‐academic positions. Second, the composition of people who are ecologists differs from broader society, partially due to implicit biases and institutional barriers. We propose steps to reduce attrition of diversity in ecology that include countering implicit biases and creating mentorship networks. We offer steps to improve recruitment by increasing awareness of ecology among high school students and undergraduates and providing opportunities to engage in ecological research. Finally, ecology is only relevant if the public perceives it to be. We must improve science communication and begin cultivating trust. We propose that ad hoc communication by all ecologists is insufficient; translational ecologists should be hired in every department and formal training in translational ecology is necessary. We hope this paper catalyzes critical thinking and partnerships among students, professional ecologists, and the ESA to ensure the future of ecology is vibrant.

Journal

EcosphereWiley

Published: Jan 1, 2018

Keywords: ; ; ; ;

References

You’re reading a free preview. Subscribe to read the entire article.


DeepDyve is your
personal research library

It’s your single place to instantly
discover and read the research
that matters to you.

Enjoy affordable access to
over 12 million articles from more than
10,000 peer-reviewed journals.

All for just $49/month

Explore the DeepDyve Library

Unlimited reading

Read as many articles as you need. Full articles with original layout, charts and figures. Read online, from anywhere.

Stay up to date

Keep up with your field with Personalized Recommendations and Follow Journals to get automatic updates.

Organize your research

It’s easy to organize your research with our built-in tools.

Your journals are on DeepDyve

Read from thousands of the leading scholarly journals from SpringerNature, Elsevier, Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford University Press and more.

All the latest content is available, no embargo periods.

See the journals in your area

Monthly Plan

  • Read unlimited articles
  • Personalized recommendations
  • No expiration
  • Print 20 pages per month
  • 20% off on PDF purchases
  • Organize your research
  • Get updates on your journals and topic searches

$49/month

Start Free Trial

14-day Free Trial

Best Deal — 39% off

Annual Plan

  • All the features of the Professional Plan, but for 39% off!
  • Billed annually
  • No expiration
  • For the normal price of 10 articles elsewhere, you get one full year of unlimited access to articles.

$588

$360/year

billed annually
Start Free Trial

14-day Free Trial