Professional development

Over time I’ve gained an immense appreciation for professional development (PD) efforts in academia. It is incredibly important that students, postdocs, and faculty receive adequate training in the skills necessary for a career in the life sciences. I have led organizations, written articles, and participated in workshops dedicated to professional development.

Ecological Society of America: Early Career Ecologists Section

As Vice-Chair/Chair/Past Chair of the Early Career Section I have initiated and led several successful efforts:

  • Developed and organized a professional development webinar series.
  • Compose monthly newsletters with resources and links for section members.
  • Designed and led workshops on pedagogy and backward design at ESA annual meetings.
  • Initiated and organized a resource hub entitled “So you’re about to ___?” that provides resources for numerous scenarios that early career ecologists may encounter.
  • Attended ESA Governing Board meetings in 2018/2019 and advocated on behalf of early career ecologists.

Published articles in education PD

Emery, N., Maher, J. M., and D. Ebert-May. 2019. Professional Development in STEM Higher Education: Studying the Educational Ecosystem. Innovative Higher Education 1-11.

Emery, N., Hund, A., Burks, R., Duffy, M., Scoffoni, C., and A. Swei. 2019. Students as ecologists: Strategies for successful mentorship of undergraduate researchers. Ecology and Evolution, 9: 4316–4326

Ebert-May, D. and N. Emery. 2017. Teaching like a scientist: assessing your assessments. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, 15(5), 227-227.


I have participated in different professional development initiatives, primarily with regards to pedagogy and scientific teaching.

  • Open Education Fellow – Environmental Data Science Inclusion Network (EDSIN) and Quantitative Undergraduate Biology Education and Synthesis (QUBES). A leadership program for life science, math biology, statistics, and ecoinformatics educators interested in inclusive data science education. (ongoing)
  • Biological and Environmental Data Education Network – NSF RCN-UBE Incubator. Our goal is to use data science education to make the life and environmental sciences more accessible, transparent, reproducible, and relevant. (ongoing)
  • BioQuest/QUBES Workshop – Making Meaning through Modeling: Problem solving in biology (Summer 2017)
  • Advanced Learning through Evidence-Based STEM Teaching Course – Center for the Integration of Research Teaching and Learning (CIRTL, Spring 2017).
  • Universal Design in Learning: Reaching and Teaching Diverse Learners – Center for the Integration of Research, Teaching and Learning (CIRTL, Fall 2016).
  • Pathways to Scientific Teaching Course – Michigan State University (Fall 2016).
  • Summer Teaching Institute for Associates – UC Santa Barbara (Summer 2013).