By Kelly

It has been a busy week at the research school with guests from abroad, the announcement of new ARC fellows and a careers workshop to help the apprentice scientists among us decide whether we should attempt to join the ranks of the aforementioned academic elite. On Thursday, Edouard Bard gave the annual Jaeger-Hales seminar; an excellent summary of what the scientific community knows about climate during the last deglaciation and the mechanisms or forcings -as we like to say in the biz- that cause icecaps to form, and melt, through the ages.

Dr Andy Hogg, 2012 Australian Research Council
Future Fellowship recipient.

While on the topic of the hydrological cycle a huge congratulations must also go to Dr Andy Hogg for being awarded an ARC Future Fellowship, and close to $800,000 to support his research over the next 5 years. The fellowships are designed for early/mid career academics (5-15 years post PhD) and like all funding they are highly competitive. From Andy: “The Southern Ocean is critically important to future global climate: it controls the natural global carbon cycle and the distribution of heat and nutrients around the ocean. This project will investigate key uncertainties in the Southern Ocean’s response to climate change, and thereby improve our capacity to predict future climate.” Money well spent I say.

Earlier in the week the lovely folks from the Careers Centre gave a morning seminar on options open to graduate students. Although I have attended a previous workshop on the topic I still found the session valuable. One of the more interesting things for me was the kind of career I felt drawn too. At the previous workshop I was in the process of filing for divorce (from my work not my husband, he’s awesome). Now that my work and I  have reconciled (again, no need for reconciliation with my husband, he is awesome) I found myself tuning in to different career paths. The important take home message was ‘preparation’! The applications take a long time and the worst thing you can do in an interview is expect that having a PhD automatically makes you qualified. The general consensus from outside of academia is: who cares? But, but….as my bottom lip starts to quiver.

It’s all about understanding the skills you have acquired and packaging them in a way that is desirable to your employer of choice. This in itself is great news, there are not that many jobs specifically tailored to people who specialize in interpreting climate from carbon and nitrogen isotopes from the structural amino acids in deep-sea coral. This may come as a surprise, but it is true…And with this thought in mind I am going to try my hand at community radio tomorrow (I have a face for it you know).

If you happen to be in the Canberra Region, tune in to Biodegradio on 2XX (98.3 fm) at 1pm and listen to me blather on about the blog, being an earth scientist and sustainability. Or you could just read the blog where I do the same thing.