5 Questions: An Interview with Pier Carros

Q: How did you start working here?

A: I worked as a graphic artist in the printing field in the Bangor area for several years. I heard the Laboratory was looking for a research administrative assistant with graphics skills, so I jumped at it. A year later I moved to my current position.

Q: What does your current position entail?

A: I'm a grants coordinator, which involves working with our faculty and managing the grant proposal process from beginning to end. Grants are a huge administrative burden on scientists, and we try to take away as much of that burden as we can.

Q: What's the biggest challenge in your job?

A: The funding situation is very difficult these days. Despite this, our faculty members are about twice as successful in obtaining grants as the average. Our office and the grant writing office play a role in that success.

Q: What do you like to do outside of work?

A: I have an Italian greyhound named Bri who's a certified reading dog with the Reading Education Assistance Dogs program. Young children [grades K-3] read books out loud to Bri, and it's very rewarding to see their reading confidence improve. I'm also on the Board of Trustees at Birdsacre, a wildlife sanctuary in Ellsworth.

Q: What does it mean to you to live in Downeast Maine?

A: My education and early work experience were in outdoor education down in the New York/New Jersey area, but I always wanted to come to Maine and live near the coast. It's so beautiful—at lunchtime I can walk trails in Acadia National Park, in the winter after a snowfall it looks like I'm traveling through an oil painting on my commute. I feel incredibly lucky to be able to live here as well as to work with such interesting and talented people.