New mentoring program for undergrads

August 13, 2020


Field Guides - seminars and mentorship for undergraduates interested in ecology and related fields

CBS graduate students are excited to announce Field Guides — a new student-led mentoring program in the College of Biological Sciences. The program provides two types of opportunities for undergraduate students:

  1. Mentor-mentee partnerships with current graduate students in ecology, evolution, and behavior or related fields.
  2. Seminars and professional development workshops throughout the semester.

About the Program

The program is open to students at any stage of their undergraduate career, though some seminars and workshops will be aimed specifically at certain subsets of students (e.g., soon-to-be-graduates, underrepresented groups in STEM). Whether you are applying for graduate school this fall or you are still deciding your major, our goal is to help you have the connections and information that we wish we’d had when we were undergraduate students.

If you are interested in any of the following, this program may be for you:

  • Exploring career paths in ecology, evolution, behavior or related fields
  • Getting involved in doing research at UMN
  • Meeting students with shared interests in ecological and evolutionary topics
  • Receiving advice about coursework from recent graduates
  • Navigating graduate school application processes

While many of these topics will be covered during seminars and workshops, connecting with a graduate student mentor is the best way to make the most of the program and receive helpful advice and insight from someone who has been in your shoes. Mentors represent diverse personal backgrounds and span research interests in grassland ecology, plant-microbe interactions, adaptive evolution, community ecology, microbial evolution, forest ecology, wildlife disease, nutrient cycling, animal behavior and learning, and more!

Get Involved 

  1. Complete this form to sign up for future communication and to let us know a bit more about your interests and goals by August 21, 2020. You are welcome to attend seminars without being paired with a mentor - but be sure to still fill out the form to get on our mailing list! Please note that the form will stay open and you are welcome to sign up at any time, but we will begin pairing mentors and mentees after August 21.
  2. RSVP the kick-off event on August 24 at 12 p.m. CT on Zoom. Mentors will introduce the program, give an overview of the topics we plan to cover during the semester, and provide time to meet fellow undergrad and graduate students interested in the program. For those of you thinking about applying to graduate school, we will spend the second half of the seminar talking about the process (including whether to apply for a Master's or PhD) and sharing tips for success. to receive information about attending.


Contact the organizers — Megan Wilcots, Molly Kuhs, Amy Waananen, Maggie Anderson, Janine Mistrick — at