Earth Sciences Division (ESD) Department of Energy (DOE) Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL)

Employee Development - Supervising & Mentoring

Supervising and mentoring are two seperate concepts. Individuals often step in and out of these roles depending on their relationship with their employees, colleagues, or others. These relationships can form not only at the workplace, but elsewhere within an individual's network. At the workplace, the Earth Sciences Division has prepared resources for employees, supervisors, and mentors to help form productive relationships amongst all members of the Division and at Berkeley Lab.


The role of a supervisor is to manage performance, provide job skill training and employee development, form work/job/task oriented expectations. At times a supervisor will also play the role of a mentor. Supervisors have a more formal role and are assigned to employees based on job or skill requirements to complete a project. Supervisors may change overtime based on the direction of a given project. Supervisors are a part of the line management and are also expected to act as an agent of the Lab on matters critical to the organization. At times, a supervisor may assign a work lead to act as a supervisor of a given task or project. These relationships form mostly out of skill based activities or other project assignments where a supervisor may not necessarily be experienced in that skill.

Training and Other Learning Resources

Supervisors are expected to complete mandatory training. New Supervisors will be prompted to enroll in these courses offered by the Human Resources Berkeley Lab Institute's (BLI). There is also a list of Supervisors and Work Leads Training - this link provides you a list of training that will enhance the work experience for current or prospective individuals in these roles. To enroll in any of the courses, start by going to the employee self-service website.


The Earth Sciences Division supports and encourages informal mentoring relationships that will enhance employee success and professional growth. The ESD has developed an At-A-Glance that provides some general information about the mentoring process and how that relationship could be helpful to mentors and employees—and how it may differ from a supervisor/supervisee relationship. In many cases, mentoring may already be occurring. Consider where you are with respect to developing a mentoring relationship.

Training and Other Learning Resources

  • Mentoring At-A-Glance
  • Supervisor and Mentorship Presentation (PowerPoint) -  In 2005, this seminar was developed by our scientists in partnership with our HR Center to support an ESD initiative to facilitate mentoring junior staff members in their careers. This resource is available for all staff as a reference.

Seek a mentor! Be a mentor!

Sr. Scientists, members of Division Council and other Subject Matter Experts can be sought out as a mentor. If you are interested in being mentored by an individual, just ask! If you are currently mentoring someone and would like to be considered a mentor for others, just let us know!


  • Tracy Bigelow, ESD HR Sr. Partner,, (510) 486-6065
  • Maryann Villavert, ESD Manager, Strategic Development and Communications,, (510) 486-7357
  • Peter Lau, ESD Business Manager,, (510) 486-5570