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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.




Tips for sharing science through writing and blogging

On the subject of writing and blogging, I came across a helpful link entitled “how to write a good research blog post”. Follow the link. The points for consideration are described in clear detail and provide some guidelines for how to think about blogging. When I write, it’s usually because the topic is something I’m reading or working on, but as my level of knowledge accumulates, then I use writing as a form of expressive outreach to transmit my understanding and share my interest in the subject. Often, I consider blogging as an excellent platform to reach a wide variety of people, but in truth I have to wonder if the information is only being read by those in related science fields.

I’m fairly new to research blogging, though I have been writing in this blog for a while. I began considering research blogging after reading Small Things Considered. What a wonderful science-related blog filled with well written posts on interesting topics. Although the list of points on constructing a meaningful blog post are helpful, reading through some of the posts and guest contributions in Small Things Considered is a good way to get a feel for the style. Still interested in blogging about science? Keep reading the literature in your field and if you stay on top of an interesting subject, then just write about it!

Happy blogging!

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