Finding that Academic Position
David W. Willis and Daniel A. Isermann
Yes, competition can be intense for academic positions in fisheries and throughout the natural resource disciplines. Yes, there is a trend toward fewer tenure-track positions in higher education. Despite these issues, effective, dedicated fisheries professionals with a collegial spirit who enjoy mentoring future professionals are still needed, and these positions are truly rewarding. Interacting with students while working “for the resource” has been a fulfilling activity for both of us. In an academic position you will directly influence future generations of fisheries professionals, and there is no better way to continue the American Fisheries Society (AFS) legacy of mentoring.
Our objective is to provide advice to individuals seeking an academic position at a college or university. We will first discuss the three primary responsibilities of most faculty members, and then offer advice on gaining appropriate experience, the need for collegiality, and the importance of persistence. Our goal is to provide sound advice that should be useful during your progression from graduate student to your first on-campus interview.