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Preparing Planetary Scientists

Presentation #111.04 in the session Workforce and the State of Our Profession.

Published onOct 20, 2022
Preparing Planetary Scientists

Early career planetary scientists, including students, benefit from professional development. Science engagement staff and scientists at the Lunar and Planetary Institute have conducted a variety of seminars and events to support this community and are preparing additional activities. This presentation will highlight past and ongoing efforts, including evaluation results, and invite community input and participation.

LPI staff (often in partnership with colleagues) have conducted conference presentation review events, at which students and other early career scientists can practice their oral or poster presentation and receive feedback from experienced conference attendees before their session. LPI has also been conducting a mentoring program in connection with LPSC, at which first-time attendees are matched with an experienced attendee for a day.

Professional development efforts also include a series of seminars for LPI’s summer undergraduate interns, on topics including the business of planetary science (an overview of planetary careers), ethics in planetary science, writing scientific papers, giving research presentations, diversity and inclusion in planetary science, and applying for graduate school. These sessions are conducted by the science staff, with support from the science engagement staff.

A new series of virtual professional development seminars is being planned, based on the ongoing needs of the early career community. An initial example was the seminar conducted before LPSC, on Tips for Optimizing Your LPSC Experience. Topics of future seminars may include mentoring skills and strategies, applying for positions, proposal writing, networking, and much more. Guest speakers will be invited to share their expertise, and participants will be asked to conduct short activities, such as write a draft diversity statement or outline a personal timeline for proposal development. Input from the community will be invited through discussions and surveys, as this series develops.

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