May 22, 2024    
12:00 pm-2:00 pm

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Interview Playlist

Interview Playlist

Forum Q&A Answered in the Panel Chat:

2024 Federal Careers Forum Q&A Answers

Please join us for the Discussion, the Watch Party of pre-recorded interviews, or both.

  • Watch Party: 11:30 am-1:00 pm Pacific Time (2:30-4:00 pm Eastern Time)
  • Discussion: 1:00-2:00 pm Pacific Time (4:00-5:00 pm Eastern Time)

Preparing to enter the work force after completing a graduate degree, and building a fulfilling and successful career outside of academia can be daunting and full of uncertainty. There is no ‘one path fits all’ that will lead to your career goals, but one of the best ways to prepare is to learn from others’ experiences.

If you are interested in pursuing a career working for a federal agency, join us on May 22nd from 2:30-4:00 EST/11:30-1:00 PST to meet federal scientists working around the United States and learn about their career paths, work challenges and benefits, ‘a day in their life,’ and advice they wish they would have known as early career scientists.

Individual, prerecorded interviews with each of the 15 panelists will be played for the first hour of the forum, and interviews will be available to watch on this webpage a week before the forum occurs.

A “watch party” of prerecorded interviews with 13 federal scientists will start at 11:30 a.m. PT (2:30 pm ET), with the full panel discussion beginning at 1 pm PT (4 pm ET). After a brief interview with federal career coach, Lilly Whiteman, the panelists will spend the second hour of the forum in discussion with and answering questions from the attendees.

Recorded interviews are available for asynchronous viewing online. Return here or visit our YouTube Channel for the link.

Bring your questions and join in the lively discussion. If you have any questions before the event, please contact Paige Kleindl at pklei007@fiu.edu.

Panelist interviews have been pre-recorded to allow the discussion to focus on audience questions. Please view the prerecorded interviews beforehand or join us for the “watch party” at 11:30 a.m. PT (2:30 pm ET).


Lily Whiteman, MPH, MEM
Author of “How to Land a Top-Paying Federal Job”


Kevin Cunniff
M.S., new FCE LTER Miccosukee connection


Sarah Spaulding
Aquatic Ecologist
US Geological Survey / INSTAAR Fellow, University of Colorado and McMurdo LTER
Spaulding CV

Paul Julian
Ph.D., Everglades Foundation NPO

Andrew Christopher Oishi
Forest Ecology
Ph.D., U.S. Forest Service and Coweeta LTER

Alison Ainsworth
Plant Community Ecology
CESU Science Advisor / Ecologist; National Park Service

Chuck Rhoades
Ph.D., U.S. Forest Service and Experimental Forest
Website: Charles C. Rhoades | US Forest Service Research and Development (usda.gov)

Gina Ralph
Ph.D., Planning and Policy Division, Jacksonville, FL; U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and CESU
Gina Paduano Ralph Bio



Donatto Surratt
Ph.D., Senior Ecologist, National Park Service, Davie; U.S. National Park Service & CESU

Lisa Baron
Ph.D., U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and CESU


Stephanie Sharuga
Ocean environmental science
Sharuga Bio

David Walters
Walters Bio

Laura Brandt
Wildlife Biologist
Regional Scientist, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, University of Florida, Davie, FL

Andrea Nocentini
Ecological Analyst; Freshwater Ecologist
Seminole Tribe

Holly Sweat
Ph.D., The Smithsonian Institute
Sweat Bio