After returning from South America in September, I began the long and frustrating task of applying for jobs. I was fairly open in the kind of work I would be willing to do, though I was a bit partial towards anything having to do with conservation. While having a Ph.D. may seem to be the ultimate job qualification, it actually turns out to be prohibitive in many cases. It simply makes you far too specialized in one field and overqualifies you for most non-academic jobs. And trying to stay within a hundred miles of South Bend Indiana further restricted my pool of opportunities. But after four months, the search is over and emplyment has been found.
I’m going to be working for at least the next two years as the manager of the lab of Dr. Adrian Rocha at the University of Notre Dame. Dr. Rocha studies, amongst other things, how tundra soils absorb and release carbon during wildfires and ecological succession. This is pretty different from my past work and I’m super excited about it. From what I know, this is going to involve lots of building remote sensors that use the eddy covariance method to detect the flux of carbon from surface to atmosphere. The details on how these work are all still very vague to me. I’ll then spend the Summer setting up and collecting data from these sensors throughout remote northern Alaska via helicopter. As I learn more about this exciting new job, expect to see more updates.
An eddy covariance tower. Image from http://www.eu-interact.org/