Greetings from the field!
In April of 2015, I accepted a position with Fluid Imaging Technologies in Scarborough, Maine. It’s been over a year since I began working with this instrumentation company, so I thought I’d share some insight into my non-academic science career.
First, when people ask me what I “do for work”, I tell them that I mostly get to play. That’s because if you’ve been lucky enough to pursue a career where you love what you do for a living, then a “job” is not “work” but rather, your passion. My role is to assist scientists (customers) with using our instrumentation through training and hands-on optimization with their sampling material. Having had a background in FlowCam knowledge from my undergraduate days early on, it’s been a truly full-circle experience coming back to work with this company. It didn’t hurt that I also came to this position after a unique set of skills in the aquatic science field. Never underestimate that training you had in flow cytometry, or that business class you took years back. These days, to succeed in a scientific career, it seems you need a combination of skill sets that one unique degree won’t meet.
So, what do I really do? I travel, answer questions, provide training, run samples, test instrumentation and software, brainstorm ideas, and participate in R&D from order to product. It’s a truly unique position that I’ve never had before. I also find myself in remote places working with people – not just scientists. In the end, we’re a people-driven company that has always focused on providing tools for scientists to do their research. Simply put, we make the tools – it’s up to you to use them! I just show people how to use a particular tool in their toolset.
For those of you who may be interested in following some of the field service work that I conduct, please check out a recent Fluid Imaging blog post about my training trip to Kazakhstan. Here are some great photos from the experience as well!
The National Park lakes
Another view of the lake we sampled for phytoplankton composition
Some of the beautiful freshwater plankton we saw from our lake samples.
Image: H.Wright – permission to use images for educational purposes only.