I was skimming trough “How to Do Ecology” book from Karban and Huntzinger*, when I read that is important to have a long-term goal in your career. Something to use as a reference tool to see how your articles contribute to that goal and help you focus your career. I just panic for a second, not sure of having one. What if I am constructing my research program in an opportunistic way? Given I published on organisms as diverse as plants, birds or bees, or topics like biological invasions, pollination, or climate change, I was not sure that all this articles contribute to a long-term goal. The panic only lasted for a few minutes, as I realised that my main interest (and now my goal) is to understand human modified ecosystems. Indeed, I was quite happy to see that most of my research can help understand how this human dominated ecosystems work, or which species can survive in human modified ecosystems and which not, or how species adapt to live in human modified ecosystems. By that time I started thinking that Human Modified Ecology needs a good acronym, so I spent the next ten minutes trying to find a funny one… but that is less interesting (and I didn’t succeed). So the take home message is that I am glad to have verbalized my long-term goal, and be conscious of having one. I’ll take Karban’s advice and try to be more conscious of what I do and why I do it.
*I recommend that book to any grad student starting the PhD. Also good advice for everyone from Alon here and here.
Steve Jobs says “You can’t connect the dots forward – only backward”
Well, and Kierkegaard too* …but he didn’t designed the imac :D
I like the quote, anyway.
*Journals IV A 164 (1843): http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/S%C3%B8ren_Kierkegaard
“Human-induced rapid environmental change” (HIREC) is not a really funny acronym, but it’s one’s. Thought-provoking post, I like it!
I’ll go with HIREC. Thanks!