This lab philosophy statement was developed as a collaboration between Prof. Pratt and the members of the Pratt Lab. The statements below describe what we are striving to uphold in our group, and we encourage discussion to address issues as they arise. This is a living document that is meant to be revised to take into consideration the diverse perspectives of all group members.
Support within our Group: We collectively value and support all group members, regardless of academic level. As a lab, we collectively know a lot, but as an individual, you aren’t expected to be an expert in everything - rather, we help each other for effective research progress. Our lab tackles multidisciplinary science through collaboration, teamwork, and mentoring, while each group member is pursuing their own research project. Independent critical thinking is essential, but we also lean on each other and our varying areas of expertise for support and knowledge. We support each other for our collective mental health through the challenges of undergraduate and graduate school and postdoctoral research. We strive to uphold a positive and supportive lab dynamic.
We Value Diversity: Diversity enhances scientific advancement, with underrepresented scientists shown to innovate with novel contributions at higher rates compared to majority peers
(Hofstra et al. PNAS 2020 &
Flaherty Inside Higher Ed 2020). We acknowledge that academia has not been equitable or inclusive, but we believe that differences in backgrounds, cultures, experiences, and perspectives are strengths that make our
research stronger and more creative. We do not tolerate any type of discrimination in our research group, or in our interactions with others. We strive for equity and an inclusive research environment for all individuals,
including those who identify as Black, Indigenous, Latinx, Persons of Color (including people of the Global Majority), LGBTQIA+, having a (dis)ability, or part of other equity-seeking groups.
Being a Scholar: In our research laboratory, all researchers develop skills in critical thinking, problem solving, and scientific communication, with the side benefit of becoming handy (apply your skills to fix your faucet!). All researchers must abide by scientific research ethics and integrity, as required by our funding sources and outlined by the University of Michigan Research Ethics & Compliance. We strive for scholarly and impactful multidisciplinary research tackling critical scientific questions with relevance to climate and air quality, with training in fundamental analytical chemistry.
Health & Safety : Our lab prioritizes the health and safety of our researchers. It is of utmost importance to carry out research safely, both in the laboratory and field. To conduct research effectively, you must take care of yourself first, both physically and mentally. Research and graduate school are challenging and require a long-term approach with mental health and work/life balance in mind. We strive for a positive, safe, and supportive learning environment in which group members support one another through sickness and health, including the challenges of imposter syndrome, burnout, and a global pandemic
Fieldwork Philosophy: Our lab focuses on measuring where the chemistry occurs by deploying our state-of-the-art instrumentation to the Arctic, on aircrafts, and other locations. We believe in teamwork in which everyone in the group contributes and supports each other, both in the field and from home, while pursuing independent research projects. Flexibility to changing conditions and challenges in the field is necessary to obtain the best field data. Responsible and respectful behavior and professional communication are of critical importance to fieldwork, both within our group and outside, working with and around other field campaign participants, local logistics, and native community members. We believe that the Iñupiat community’s local and traditional knowledge of Arctic change are critical to the understanding of the changing Earth system. We strive to obtain transformative field data, while providing once-in-a-lifetime experiences (which may involve seeing the Aurora Borealis!).
Thinking about Joining our Lab? We are recruiting new graduate students and postdoctoral researchers to our lab. You don’t need a background in atmospheric chemistry or mass spectrometry to join our lab. Given the multidisciplinary nature of our research, we believe that there are strengths in the participation and collaboration of researchers of different research backgrounds. We are looking for individuals with passion, enthusiasm, positive attitude, perseverance, and a desire to work hard to learn our science and instruments. We value the creativity, insights, and viewpoints of our newest members. Former research group members are pursuing careers in academia, industry, government labs, air quality monitoring, and science policy. We strive to provide a positive, supportive research environment with career development and training opportunities, while pursuing exciting and transformative science.
For more information, please see the Current Members page, which has relevant links for prospective members!