After over 38 years in the Department of Environmental Science—including five department heads and four department name changes—Musil retired in early February 2020.
A few of Sheri Musil's notable contributions in the Department of Environmental Science, besides managing IT needs both big and small, included supporting the soil physics lab course and the transformation of classrooms in the Animal and Comparative Biomedical Sciences building into modern laboratory spaces for environmental science students. She considers the updated classroom spaces her legacy to the department.
“I’m a problem-solver at heart—I enjoy helping people, whether it’s for IT or research.”
Musil began her career working as a staff researcher for soil and environmental physics research labs in the department. She learned quickly and worked her way up, eventually managing large research data sets as well as managing labs and supporting the soil physics lab course.
But as technology and computers evolved, so did Musil’s role. She volunteered her time for IT support for the main office and departmental network support for almost 25 years, all while continuing her main job as a researcher on soil physics and biometeorology with now-retired faculty such as Art Warrick, Allan Matthias and Paul Brown.
“The college provided a few desktop computers, and then we had to figure out how to make them work. The soil physicists and biometeorologists were early adopters of the desktop computers due to their need for computations for large data sets.”
About ten years ago she took on IT support full-time, learning new tools and providing critical updates to the department to keep the technology running smoothly.