Keri Nelson

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IWAK Keri Nelson
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Research Station Administrator, 

United States Antarctic Program 

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@simplyantarctica on Instagram

  

How far would you go to feel at home? How many professions would you try before you found your place? 

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Keri Nelson_1Keri Nelson
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Job fair fears: 

She describes it as “turning on her Keri Nelsonness” and defines that (with a laugh):  "By that I mean, for that particular job fair, I exhausted myself trying to be my very best. I tried to be as charming as I could be, and sold myself as well as I could, with 100% of my energy. I wanted to convince people that I was a person they might want to have around, that I could do some good in their departments, that I was pleasant and fun and a person who would be positive to work around and be with.

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Job fair fears

rough spots

TRY         THIS! 

Other people

School woes

relationships

rough spots:

 I think I’m really good at talking to people, hearing their problems, getting at their concerns, anticipating what people’s motivations are for wanting this or that, or for being unhappy for this or that, or anticipating future unhappiness or concerns. I try to “predict ahead”, and smooth things over before people really notice that they’re problems. I think there’s skill in making life more pleasant and enjoyable for everybody. It’s very important at a small station to keep people on an even keel.

TRY THIS:

4H and Future Farmers of America

As a child and teenager, I was heavily involved in the 4-H program. I was a State Ambassador in MN, and also represented Minnesota at the National Conference and the National Congress. I was also involved with Future Farmers of America.

 

I served as a mentor at a camp for Korean adoptees called Kamp Kimchee.

UNITED STATES ANTARCTIC PROGRAM 

Antarctica is dedicated to scientific research, but it takes many careers besides science careers to get the big job done. People 21 and older can apply to work at one of the three U.S. stations in cooking and cleaning jobs, as administrators or drivers, as carpenters or electricians, and much more. Find our more here

 

OTHER PEOPLE: 

A little bit of unrest can turn escalate in a small community and make other people pretty unhappy, so anticipating what those things might be, looking out for people, identifying things that people are doing well and making sure they’re appreciated for doing those things well is important. Keri feels that acknowledging the work people are doing, and the positive things that people are doing for the community, is a vital part of managing a remote research station in Antarctica, but can also make a difference in any job.  

 

SCHOOL WOES: 

Keri advises kids in middle school and high school: "If your school situation isn’t perfect, get as much as you can out of the situation but don't feel boxed in. It's going to be fine. Just stay interested in this world, and opportunities will find you. Look for them, and say “yes.” I really really believe that.

"Always look for opportunity, always look for opportunities to do things in a different way."

Keri advises kids in middle school and high school: "If your school situation isn’t perfect, get as much as you can out of the situation but don't feel boxed in. It's going to be fine. Just stay interested in this world, and opportunities will find you. Look for them, and say “yes.” I really really believe that.

"Always look for opportunity, always look for opportunities to do things in a different way."

RELATIONSHIPS: 

Keri said: “I love my husband, Alex, and we love spending time together. We do it as much as we can when I’m not in Antarctica. But [being in Antarctica for long periods] kind of gives us an opportunity to continue to develop who we are as independent people. We develop our strengths as individuals, shine a light on our weaknesses. We have to decide who we are as independent people in the world, and then when we get back together again, we are attracted to each other all over again, as those people. It makes the “little” things stay “little”, and it’s easy to let them go when we know we have to appreciate the time we have in front of us, before I leave for Antarctica again. I wouldn’t say this is the answer for everyone, but it works for me, and it works for us. Learn how Keri met her husband here