Academia | Ep 01 | Graduate Research Assistant, Jesse Cone


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What is life like as a forestry graduate research assistant? How does Jesse care for his mental health while in grad school?


In this episode, Jesse shares with us…
  • What day to day work looks like as a graduate assistant

  • How forestry materials sequester carbon and promote sustainability

  • Why plant conservation and forestry is a cornerstone to stopping climate change

  • His story as a vegetarian, and how that influenced his work

  • His perspective on conservation work

  • How to get your dream job in science!


Jesse and Nicole share their wisdom about
  • The value of networking for future opportunities

  • Taking advantage of resources as student workers

  • Pragmatic decision making from undergraduate to graduate studies

  • How capitalism informs science

  • Challenges and rewards of fieldwork and research

  • Ethical implications for different types of research

  • The importance of work-life balance!

Connect with Jesse

Jesse’s Twitter

Jesse’s LinkedIn

Check out the 21st Biennial Southern Silvicultural Research Conference where Jesse’s thesis presentation won an award

Article about Jesse from Louisiana Tech University

Drought tolerance may be the key to future wood production by Jesse Cone

Resources Jesse mentioned

Purdue University - where Jesse did research work

U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service

Bureau of Land Management

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

USDA Natural Resource Conservation Science

Nicole mistakenly said this paper that was heavily criticized about tree planting was published in the journal Nature; the paper was published in the journal Science. (Timestamp: 20 minutes, 21 seconds)

Job Resources


  • Great opportunities for recent graduates to gain experience (Undergraduate, graduate, post-doc, etc.) Here’s an example of a unique opportunity

Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences Job Board

  • A conservation job board that has tons of opportunities in wildlife and plant science ( entry-level positions, graduate opportunities, and advanced positions)

USA Job Board

Inside HigherEd Careers

  • Job board specifically for academia (graduate opportunities, research assistant positions, and faculty positions)

Thanks for tuning in! Stay tuned for our new episodes every two weeks!

Special thanks to our amazing volunteer team

Brooke Christiansen, Website manager/ designer & podcast logo creator

Stacey Davies, Podcast editor & sound designer

Paula Lee, Podcast assistant & show note designer

Nicole Felts, Podcast host/ producer & project manager


Check out the rest of our show notes on our website: