So alot of people have wondering about my job search status since I announced my intentions back in March. Its been a huge struggle. Several interviews, several let-downs, several interesting connections made. Job searching is very humbling experience. There were many times I was very frustrated, scared, worried about the future of my family and where I will be living. I have to thank my wife the most for being the perfect companion through this journey, listening to my pains, helping me draw plans A-ZZ in case I couldn't find work before my funding runs out (in 5 days nonetheless!). (If anyone is curious, our back up plan was to move to the North Carolina Research Triangle Park area and seek out work in science communication). My parents and brothers were also very supportive at this time. So many people were there for me in the back channels offering advice, emotional support, sending me job advertisements, helping me network, seeking out opportunities for me within their organizations and listening to me. You know who your friends are when you are down on your luck and I can't repay their kindness enough. Especially when many these are individuals I have never met in person or only briefly. Many others are good friends. I really would like to thank, in no particular order, Craig and Peter, Eric, Miriam, Rick, Mark P, Karen and Peter, Dave, Jason, RPM, John W, Jim, Brian, Ed, PhysioProf, DrugMonkey, Liz, Romunov, Michael, Aydin, Mike, Abel, Chris M, Sheril, Carl, Emmett, Jives, Richard, Jonathan, Jeremy, Ginny, Andrew, Bora, Adrian, Kate, Martin, Janet, Tara, Pal and Mark H, Sandra, Anton, Revere, Razib, Mark C-C, Greg L, Chris R, Grrl Scientist, Shelley and Steve, Mike D, Orac, Sciencewoman and Alice, John L, Josh, Zuska, Chad, Evil Monkey, the Fisher Lab past and present, Dimitra, Andre, Josh H, Eleca, the Penn State biology and ecology graduate students, and all my friends in State College. I'm sorry if I have forgotten anyone! All these people, and more, helped me out in some way, either a small contribution or large, it is extremely appreciated!
So what is my new job? Its awesome is what it is! My family and I will be relocating to beautiful Beaufort, North Carolina on the "Crystal Coast". I will be working as a research technician at the new Marine Conservation Molecular Facility of Duke University's Marine Lab. The project will involve studying the population structure of several deep-sea hydrothermal vent invertebrates with unique life-history characteristics. There is also lots of room for me to work on other exciting projects, but this will be focus for the next year or so. It is part of an environmental impact assessment to measure the effect that deep-sea mining off of Papua New Guinea (and yes, its that very company, indeed) would have on disrupting the population connectivity at this unique vent community. My duties, as outlined in my offer letter include, but not limited to be
"responsible for molecular genetics and laboratory benchwork, including DNA extraction, PCR amplification, DNA cloning, electrophoresis, histology, and fluorescent in situ hybridization."Quite a change for me, but I am very excited to learn new techniques and work more intimately in the fields of molecular evolution and population genetics. I have to find a cool lab coat to wear!
The amazing people I will be working with are smart, wonderful, enthusiastic and excited about the projects (plus they drink, a prerequisite to consideration for me). Which makes me excited to be a part of the projects going on at Duke Marine Lab.
As such, this will be a busy month for with finishing up and moving. Writing will be light till I get back on my feet again in early September. So please don't go away, you should know by now the Eric is just as capable, if not more, to bring you spineless goodness straight from the gastrovascular cavity!