Alumna Profile: Kristin Floress
Kristin Floress

When I graduated from FNR with my PhD in August, 2008, I began a position as an Assistant Professor of Human Dimensions in the College of Natural Resources at the University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point. I had a 20% extension, 80% teaching appointment - that is, no dedicated time for research. Through my extension appointment, though, I continued doing applied research related primarily to lake and watershed planning and management. Around the time that I was tenured at UWSP in 2015, I decided to apply for the Research Social Scientist position with USFS. I knew it was a long-shot, but the job had a few great perks: 1) I had two very young children, and if I were able to live in the Chicago area, I’d be close to all of my family; 2) I was ready for a change, and the UW system was going through massive upheavals; and 3) it was my dream job! How could I pass up this kind of chance? These types of positions are not common, and I knew another opportunity would not come around for a long time.


With USFS, every day I feel like I’ve done at least a little bit of good. I do applied research with nearby counties on oak restoration, National Forests in the Northeast and Midwest on landscape scale conservation, and with organizations as far-reaching as the Food and Agriculture Organization on food security and climate in Africa. My advice to current students and recent graduates – not that anyone asked for it - is to take chances, apply for things you don’t think you’re qualified to do (because you probably are), learn to network if you aren’t a natural conversationalist, and don’t get stuck in a pattern of doing the same thing over and over (unless you really enjoy that).

Degree
PhD Natural Resources Social Science

Graduation
2008

Business Title
Ressearch Social Scientist

Business
USDA Forest Service

Email
kfloress@fs.fed.us


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