The Society of Ethnobiology is pleased to offer informal mentoring opportunities to our members!

Potential Mentors: Update your profile to list your interests, skills, and availability!

Potential Mentees: Search our directory of members (accessible to members only; login required) for individuals who have offered to mentor and who have the skills, networks, or interests you need. 

Every one of us can name at least one amazing senior colleague whose encouragement and guidance helped us get where we are right now – studying and researching in the world of ethnobiology. And our need for such colleagues never ends … everyone needs mentors, no matter what stage we are in our careers.

Perhaps you don’t realize that everyone also needs a mentee! Mentoring someone revives your interest in the field, generates new enthusiasm, and often teaches us old dogs a new thing or two. No matter how early in your career, it’s never too early to start sharing your knowledge and networks!

Whether you’re a senior academic advising on graduate school choices, or a junior researcher looking for a senior colleague to help you make connections, or a senior colleague mentoring a peer in new skills and research techniques … everyone needs a mentor, and everyone can be a mentor!

Read some excellent articles about mentoring. Mentoring Tradition, by Candace TangorraMatelic, in Museum News November/December 2001

Mentoring Matters: A Call for Backup, by Wendy Luke and Amanda Kodek, in Museum March/April 2008

How SoE Mentoring Works:

The SoE mentorship program is very simple. If you want to be a mentor, simply log onto your profile page and click the "I would like to be a mentor" button. Your profile will be highlighted. When someone contacts you, you can decide whether you wish to mentor. If you decide not to be available as a mentor, it's as simple as unclicking the preference button in your profile. If you have questions about your role or perhaps about the person who has contacted you, feel free to get in touch with our mentorship coordinator who can offer advice and guidance.

If you want to find a mentor, you can search through the highlighted profiles for someone with the qualifications you are looking for, whether those be research area, interests, or affiliation. Send that person an e-mail, or if you're not sure, feel free to contact the mentorship coordinator for advice and guidance.

Beyond that, the mentorship relationship is entirely up to the mentor and mentee. Enjoy it!

Not Sure What to Ask a Mentor? Here are Some Ideas:

  • I would like to publish my first article and I don’t know how to begin
  • I would like to volunteer with someone in the lab and field and don’t know how to find the right person
  • I need help finding the correct journal with the right scope for original research or creative contributions
  • I would like some advice on returning my research results to communities for their access and benefit
  • How should I present data in a clear and concise fashion in presentations, posters, and papers?
  • Where should I look to find funding inside and outside academia, for travel, research, and scholarship?
  • I would like to learn how to work in the administration of an ethnobiology association
  • How can I learn how to edit ethnobiology print and online journals
  • I would like to assist in the development of ethnobiology archives
  • I need some information about careers in ethnobiology
  • Is graduate school in ethnobiology the right option for me?
  • I would like help in choosing a graduate/postdoctoral program
  • I am entering the job-market in ethnobiology and would like some advice
  • Who could give me some advice and feedback with developing papers and posters for ethnobiology conferences?
  • I need an advocate who is independent of my academic unit
  • I would like advice about transitions into/between/out of academic life
  • Please help me to develop professional networks with other students and professors in X (region/research area/method)
  • Who should I contact for advice and training in X (aspect of ethnobiology, research area, method)?
  • I would like to find a colleague interested in interdisciplinary exchanges in the area of X (region/research area/method)

Benefits and Responsibilities:

Benefits for the Mentee: an expanded personal network, a sounding board for ideas and plans, a source of positive and constructive feedback, a guide to professional development, a colleague who can continue to challenge and inspire you.

Responsibilities of the Mentee: Assess your needs before choosing a mentor and choose a mentor who can reasonably help you meet your goals.Respect the mentorship relationship and the generosity of your mentor.Accept suggestions and guidance. Be accountable for the success of the mentorship.

Benefits for the Mentor: an expanded personal network,a venue for passing on your expertise and experience, an opportunity to translate your values into productive actions by colleagues, personal fulfillment from helping a student, junior colleague, or peer, a renewed sense of enthusiasm with fresh ideas and interactions.

Responsibilities of the Mentor: Assess your areas of expertise and resources for mentoring (time and energy) and accept a mentor only when you can reasonably meet their goals.Accept only as many mentees as you have time and energy to support. Provide guidance based on the mentee’s stated needs and goals. Help the mentee access a broad network and resource base. Provide constructive and supportive feedback.

*Please note that this is an informal mentorship program, depending solely on the good graces of our membership. The SoE and the mentorship coordinator are happy to make introductions and connections, but are not responsible for the outcome of the mentorship. The mentor and mentee are jointly responsible for ending the mentorship when it is appropriate to do so. The SoE is not responsible for the actions of either mentors or mentees and expects that all participants in this informal process will behave ethically and appropriately.