Naturalist-Ecologist Training Program (NETP)

NETP is a post-baccalaureate experience for recently graduated women that  focuses on professional development and preparedness to build foundations for internship, job, or graduate school applications. We aim to develop curiosity and creativity while participants develop research skills with a strong field emphasis. Participants actively engage in the entire research process, from idea inception to publication and the presentation of results. 

Skills Development

Through fortnightly meetings, participants develop skills that include 

Progress & Outcomes

We have conducted the program from 2019 – 2022, during which time we worked closely with 13 students. All were women. We provided support in navigating the obstacle course that comprises the path to a career in science. We worked with them to develop their confidence and creativity alongside technical, research-related skills (including quantitative methods, R coding, statistical analyses, producing papers for publication, giving professional talks, etc.) as well as supporting them in graduate or other professional applications.

As of February 2024, about 85% of our students have continued to advance as professional biologists, with only 2 of the 13 leaving science (at least for the time being). Almost half of the students have been accepted to or are enrolled in graduate school in field biology (4 are in PhD programs and 2 are in MS programs). One additional student is searching for the right graduate advisor and PhD program to which she will apply in 2024, and one is in her third year of medical school (though she continues to work with us on behavioral ecology research!). The remaining 3 students have taken non-academic biology positions at state parks, aquariums, and museums. 

We took a hiatus from formal NETP group meetings and activities in 2023 when we were in Tunisia. However, during 2023 and through to the present we continue working one-on-one with individuals, mentoring them as their career trajectories and needs dictate. We expect to reinstate formal NETP group activities when our current students (who are primarily undergraduates) reach the point in their professional paths that career development and mentoring are merited—stay tuned for updates!!