March 11, 2019

Soft Skills

Getting Hard Data on Your Soft Skills When planning your career, one of the biggest parts is your skill set.  What do you have to sell to a potential employer?  What kinds of things are you able to do?  Do you have specific examples of times you used those skills, and had a positive outcome? In school, you learned many technical skills, including things like cartography, remote sensing, demography, data …


March 7, 2019

Putting Arctic Geopolitics to Work

When I started my academic career over 25 years ago, I would never have imagined that one day I might be working for the UK Parliament or commissioned by a UK government department such as the Ministry of Defence to conduct a specialist piece of research work. Like most of my contemporaries, I was eager to learn more about the various aspects of my new job, at the University of …


March 1, 2019

Positive Workforce Trends for Women with U.S. Doctorates in the Science, Engineering, and Health Sciences

The National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics (NCSES) within the National Science Foundation (NSF) recently published an InfoBrief comparing findings from the 1997 and 2017 Survey of Doctorate Recipients (SDR). The InfoBrief “highlights the increased prevalence of women with U.S.-earned Science, Engineering, or Health (SEH) doctorate degrees in the U.S. workforce” (Foley et al.). Some of the most interesting results from the InfoBrief are summarized below. The study found …


February 27, 2019

Communicating Science

Popular television shows such as The Big Bang Theory and Bill Nye, the Science Guy have made science a popular mainstream topic.  However, science still encounters skepticism which could be due to the difficult nature of explaining science on a basic level.   One of the jobs I’m tasked with as the Chief of Staff for the Water Resources Mission Area (WMA) at the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) is figuring out …


February 21, 2019

6 Steps to Creating a Triumphant Resume

Do you find job searching to be time consuming, frustrating, and possibly even disappointing? When you are competing against so many other applicants for one job opening, it’s best to be prepared so you can apply quickly and with the least amount of stress. It is your responsibility to quickly demonstrate that you are a match for the job qualifications, and the organization. It is the employer’s job to figure …


February 11, 2019

Survey Says…

For the last five years, the American Geosciences Institute (AGI) has collected data from graduates of geosciences programs about their education and career activities.  Some of the most interesting results from the 2016-2017 academic year survey are summarized below. This year, 513 students (419 bachelor, 58 masters, and 36 doctoral) from 147 schools participated. The demographics have not changed significantly, with 40% or more females at all degree levels, and …


February 7, 2019

An Oceanographer’s Journey: Meet Dr. Laura Guertin, Professor of Earth Science

This Paths Through Science profile features Dr. Laura Guertin, a Professor of Earth Science at Penn State Brandywine, and the exciting path that led her to a career as a professional geoscientist. Unlike the stories many professional scientists tell about how they developed a passion for science at an early age, Dr. Guertin did not dream of becoming a scientist when she was growing up. In fact, she didn’t know …


February 5, 2019

From a Young Dinosaur Fanatic to an Expert on Fossilized Plants: Meet Dr. Christopher Wnuk

This edition of Paths Through Science features Dr. Christopher Wnuk, a Greenfields Exploration Geologist who is passionate about helping foreign countries develop their mineral-based economies. Ever since he was a young child, Dr. Wnuk has always sought to understand the natural world around him. He found dinosaurs and paleontology particularly fascinating- he enjoyed reading children’s books about dinosaurs and visiting museums to see dinosaur bones. He even found plant fossils …


February 1, 2019

Volunteering and Experience Beyond Your Field

As an undergraduate student, you often hear the words “experience” and “internship” and feel the pressure of obtaining an internship or experience directly related to your major(s) and intended career path. While it is important to gain experience in your field where you can see the practical applications of the knowledge you have gained through your coursework, volunteering and other experiences outside of your major(s) can be equally beneficial. We’ve …


Cyber Literacy for 21st Century Geospatial Professionals

Cyberinfrastructure empowers the growing knowledge economy in the United States, including many components of geoscience, geographic, and spatial research and analysis. But the integration of such training into degree programs and professional training is a difficult question for students, early career professionals, universities, and industries alike. Students and researchers in these disciplines thus often lack experience in using the most advanced tools and techniques to grapple with the crucial global …