Different types of academic institutions offer very different career paths, rewards, and opportunities. The job search process can also vary a great deal. How will you know where you want to land and how to get there, if you’ve only experienced the institution where you study?

The LTER Graduate Student Committee and Network Office held a Career Panel on May 4th 1-2:30pm PT/ 4-5:30 ET to learn more about career opportunities in various academic settings and institutions. The webinar included a  brief overview presentation and introductions by 4 panelists working in R1, primarily undergraduate, and community college settings — followed by a lively questions and answer period.

View the video


Dr. Denise Bruesewitz, Associate Professor of Environmental Studies, Colby College

Dr. Bruesewitz did research on competition between zebra mussels and hydropsychid caddisflies in the Upper Mississippi River during her undergraduate education at Winona State University. She earned her PhD with Dr. Jennifer Tank, working on alterations to nitrogen cycling in zebra mussel beds. She went on to a postdoc at the University of Waikato in New Zealand with Dr. David Hamilton, where she studied the influence of land use change on nitrogen cycling in the Rotorua lakes. A second post doc with Drs. Wayne Garder and Ed Buskey focused on nitrogen and carbon cycling along a river-estuary gradient during periods of extreme drought in Texas. As an Associate Professor of Environmental Studies at Colby College she’s primarily focused on harmful cyanobacterial blooms in lakes in the Northeastern US, but also continues to work on nitrogen cycling in urban salt marsh systems in NYC, as well as in midwestern rivers in unionid mussel beds.

Dr. Lisa Collins, Professor, Santa Monica City College

Dr. Collins earned her Ph.D. in earth sciences from USC with a focus on the cycling of carbon and silica in the Southern California Bight. She is currently a professor of geology at Santa Monica College where she teaches both lab and lecture courses for general geology and oceanography. She is active in the STEM program, teaching Science 10 and working with students interested in internships and individual research projects. Her current projects include an air quality monitoring experiment that measures particulate matter on campus and compares it to measurements on the Channel Islands. She currently holds the Drescher Chair of Excellence in Earth Science.

Nicole Millette, Assistant Professor of Biological Sciences, Virginia Institute of Marine Science

Dr. Millette studies the ecology of phytoplankton across a range of marine environments. Her primary research interest lies in understanding the phytoplankton interactions within a system, which is important to understanding the movement of energy and materials through an ecosystem. She investigates how changes to the environment will alter key interactions within the plankton food-web and affect the flow of energy. This research will help scientists and environmental managers predict how a system will respond to anthropogenically driven changes, such as increases/decreases in nutrients. Dr. Millette received her PhD from the University of Maryland Center of Environmental Science and completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.

Andrew Rassweiler, Assistant Professor, Biological Sciences, Florida State University

The Rassweiler lab studies coastal systems with an emphasis on the spatial management of marine resources and resilience and abrupt ecological state change. Their research is motivated by the dual goals of advancing ecological theory and influencing management decisions. They use modeling, analysis of existing datasets, observational field work, and manipulative experiments to address these goals. Dr. Rassweiler received his PhD from UC Santa Barbara, where he also did a postdoc.