Moving to…Nebraska!

I’m excited to finally share the news: I’ll be joining the Information Systems & Quantitative Analysis faculty┬áin the College of Information Science & Technology at the University of Nebraska at Omaha this fall! UNO’s focus on community engagement is a great fit for my research and teaching, and many of the things that appeal to me about the college are basically the same things that drew me to Maryland: an interdisciplinary environment, strong support for research with real-world impact, and interesting people who are passionate about their work.

Of course, it also means I’ll be moving on from the University of Maryland’s iSchool, and I’ll genuinely miss the great faculty, staff, and students in College Park. The iSchool has been a wellspring of opportunity and a wonderful intellectual home for me over the last three years, and I’ve learned more than I could have imagined.

But.

One of the things I’ve learned about is making difficult decisions. The specifics are less important than the bottom line: my family comes before my job. It wasn’t an easy choice, but moving to Nebraska will let me continue doing the same kind of awesome work while maintaining a happy household.

And that’s what we expect to find in Nebraska: the Good Life.

Nebraska...the good life

Image: CC-BY 2008, Thomas Beck

Postdoc Plans

Those who follow me on Twitter (@AndreaWiggins) already heard the good news: I’ve accepted a postdoc offer with DataONE!

I’ll work with Bill Michener at the University of New Mexico (in Albuquerque, NM), but will be physically stationed at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology (in Ithaca, NY – about an hour from my house), where I’ll be co-advised by Rick Bonney. The position will last for 2 years, assuming I do alright in year 1, and I’ll be starting in August 2012.

I’ll be working on issues related to data management in citizen science, technical writing for DataONE, and my own research – publishing from my dissertation and getting some new projects under way. A particularly brilliant aspect of this position is that my co-advisors are gold-star grantwriters, both with millions of dollars of grant awards to their names.

Now, let me disabuse you of the notion that I’m doing a postdoc because I couldn’t get a faculty job. Au contraire. I won’t go into any details, but suffice it to say, I had other options. Other very attractive options that I’m sad to pass up for the moment. Nonetheless, I expect the institutions that I’ve targeted for the next stage in my career (after the postdoc, that is) will still be there in two years, and I have it on good authority that several of them will still be hiring. I just hope they’ll be hiring for what I do.

This postdoc will provide a unique opportunity for skill development and practical impact, and it’s a one-time deal. I really enjoy the people I’ll be working with, and I’m excited about the contributions I can make to DataONE.