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My post-PhD plans

December 13, 2007

Those who have been following this blog for the last few months know that I am very close to wrapping up a PhD in geology. I successfully defended last Friday and, after nearly a week, it is finally sinking in that that part is over and I feel really good about it. As I mentioned, I have some revisions to work on, which I hope to accomplish by the end of January 2008.

So, what am I doing next?

I’ve taken a job as a research geologist with The Man*.

In the last year or so I have applied for some academic jobs but nothing panned out. It is very competitive out there. Additionally, I didn’t apply to any and every job…I was pretty picky about location and the description of the position. The jobs I applied for were in places others would like to live, which surely contributed to the competitiveness.

At this point in my scientific career I want to continue doing research. I might’ve been able to land a job at a smaller school where my duties would primarily be teaching. I do enjoy teaching, but am not ready for a job that is all teaching. I could see wanting that down the line, but right now I want to be doing research, writing papers, going to meetings, re-writing papers, chairing sessions, reviewing papers, and so on. Maybe that sounds crazy to some, but that’s where I am.

So, the job I have with The Man will allow me to do just that. I will definitely be utilizing the skills and expertise I’ve gained from earning a PhD for this job. The Man typically doesn’t put a lot of effort into truly basic scientific research. The position I have is pretty darn close though. I will be able to continue working on projects similar to what I just presented at AGU yesterday. I will be able to continue working on ancient turbidite systems exposed in outcrops as well. Additionally, I will be involved in developing and teaching training courses (including field courses!) for other employees of The Man. This will satisfy the teaching bug at some level.

On a more personal level, taking this job also allows us to stay in the Bay Area. My girlfriend already has a job here she really likes and we enjoy the weather and overall “vibe” of the area. In other words, we don’t want to move.

What does this mean for Clastic Detritus?

Hopefully, not much. Obviously, I won’t be blogging about life as a graduate student or writing a dissertation once it is all completely behind me (which is still a couple months away). The “academic life” tag won’t get as much use. But, my posting about sedimentary geology topics and summaries of important papers will continue. This is what this blog is really about anyway, so I see no reason why the transition out of grad school and into professional life should change that dramatically. Friday Field Fotos and Sea-Floor Sundays series won’t stop either.

Additionally, as time goes on, the work that I’ve done as part of my dissertation will start to appear in the published domain (hopefully), at which point I will post about it more detail than I have thus far.

I hope you all, the readers of Clastic Detritus, continue to visit and comment. Don’t hesitate to drop me a line about sedimentary geology-related topics or questions.


*I won’t talk about The Man in any detail on this blog. The Man is known to get upset if his doings and goings-on are written or talked about in detail. The Man has good lawyers and I do not want to upset him. If you ask me any detailed questions about the specific research I do for The Man, which Man it is, etc., I will not answer them. That being said, I will from time to time discuss in general terms what I do. 


4 Comments leave one →
  1. Trinifar permalink
    December 13, 2007 3:22 pm

    Hi Brian, just wanted to say congratulations on landing a job that fits for you — that’s no small accomplishment. Also glad you’ll be continuing this blog. Not having a background in geology, I’m often stretched to follow some of your posts, but that’s a good thing. I’m learning.

  2. December 16, 2007 8:47 pm

    Thanks … it does feel good to know what I’ll be doing with myself for the near-future. You never know what can happen or what you’ll end up doing.


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