With Krista taking a real job as an assistant professor at the University of South Dakota we are looking for a new postdoctoral fellow. The ad is out, the applications are coming in and we’ll be sifting through them beginning next week.
Over the past seven years our postdocs have taught courses in environmental chemistry, weedology (sorry, Cameron, I had to make that joke), oceanography, ecology and climate change. Our postdocs also taught our regular methods and introductory classes.
It all started in 2011, when Sarah Gray became our first McKenna Meredith, Class of ‘48 Postdoctoral Fellow in Environmental Science, taking first place in our ongoing “longest title in ENVS” competition. Sarah came to us from the University of Montana and, while at Trinity, she studied the role of small streams in the carbon cycle. She also taught environmental chemistry and a bunch of other courses for us. After having taught at Armstrong Atlantic University for several years, Sarah just took a professor position at Stockton University in New Jersey.
In 2013 Cameron Douglass, our next postdoc, came to us from Colorado State, where he earned a PhD in Bioagricultural Sciences & Pest Management, which sounds much less exciting than a PhD in weed science. Nevertheless, Cameron, a conservation biologist, was the first occupant of the Weed Lab, the dedicated research space for our postdocs. Needless to say, the first Weed Lab sign walked out of McCook a few weeks later and probably found a new home in one of the fraternity houses. Cameron stayed with us for three years. He was a mainstay of our methods course, taught Biological Invasions, a course on invasive species (aka weeds), and our introductory course. Cameron studied invasive species management at a property owned and managed by the Avalonia Land Trust. Cameron moved on to join the EPA in 2016.
Finally, Krista Ehlert, who holds a PhD in Ecology and Environmental Science from Montana State, joined us in 2016. Krista taught introductory courses in environmental and climate science as well as ecology. Her research focused on the link between mice, Japanese barberry and ticks, which was featured in an earlier blog post.
While it might seem like a PhD from a Western Land Grant University (Montana, Colorado State, Montana State) is a prerequisite for the job; that is not the case. All we’re looking for is someone who does cool stuff, likes to teach and provides diversity to our program. At this point we have a wide variety of applications covering biology, chemistry, geography, geology and even geophysics. It will be interesting to see who will come out ahead in the end. We are looking forward to a bunch of exciting Skype interviews and we’ll keep you updated.