We increasingly recognize that most scientists move into non-tenure-track careers. Field stations provide science jobs and the connections to place, community, and often academia, that appeal to many emerging scientists. But field jobs can be isolating – away from big departments and characterized by seasonal access to colleagues. Many field-based science positions may be the only of their kind in a location. Therefore, networks that connect field scientists to colleagues across sites can support retention and improve effectiveness by providing a community of practice for distributed scientists. The key is to get the scientists linked in to those networks.