Dr. Ann M. Bartuska

Deputy Chief for Research and Development, US Forest Service

BS - Biology, MS - Botany, PhD - Biology


What attracted you to your chosen field?

I got interested in ecology as an undergraduate because it seemed to integrate so many different aspects of science, plus it dealt with real-world problems, not just theory. My career took me to natural resource management positions, but I still fundamentally think of myself as an ecosystem ecologist.

What do you like best about the field?

Constantly changing issues and challenges associated with our natural resources. The day is never dull.

What are some personal challenges you have faced in your field? Initially, getting the ecological profession to recognize that applied work was important. Secondly, that being a non-academic was a valued career path. Good news, the ecological profession has embraced both aspects.

What does the future hold for your chosen field?

Recognizing that the solution to many ecological problems lies in the social sciences - its about people and the choices they make. I also see a continued exploration of the interface of science and policy.

What things can students do to prepare for a career in this field?

Improve communication skills - not just giving a better lecture to your peers, but being able to provide the 10 word narrative statement that can convey the issue/importance for your work. Take some social science courses along with your biology/ physical sciences. Its not just about being at a university. http://www.esa.org/education/ecologists_profile/EcologistsProfileDirectory/index.php?Closer=35 (for a more in depth look at Dr. Bartuska)