All of Life's Experiences...

Dr. Hilary Swain, Archbold Executive Director,
at Buck Island Ranch under a Live Oak Tree.

Archbold's Executive Director, Dr. Hilary Swain, is often asked, "How can I get a job at a biological field station?". In the April edition of the Ecological Society of America 'Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment' publication, she writes, "Invariably my response is that all of life's experiences will count." Everyone working on Archbold’s 20,000 acres wears multiple wide-brimmed hats to cover the vast array of responsibilities and to adapt to the interdisciplinary culture. At the helm of the ship, the Executive Director wears hundreds of hats. Swain began her career back in the United Kingdom and was recruited by Archbold while she was faculty at the Florida Institute of Technology in Melbourne, FL. She writes, "It is vital to convey a passionate sense of place, and to take part in the special role field station ecologists play in applying science toward local conservation, and explaining research findings in a global context." Anyone who has seen Swain speak knows of her boundless enthusiasm for science, conservation, management, and education not only at Archbold but throughout Florida. Her typical day may range from overseeing wetland restoration to grant writing to intern training to hosting guests for fundraising. She concludes, "A field station career is not a linear progression, a beginning to an end, but rather is a river gathering all of life's valuable tributaries of experiences as it flows to the sea."