Sunday, February 21, 2010

Advisor-Advisee Relations.

Second quarter motivation seems to be low. I'm still struggling to finish my masters paper manuscript, but more than anything I want to flush it down the toilet. My masters advisor is becoming more and more of a micro-manager with this paper, and it makes me appreciate my new advisor.

However, I had a very strange social interaction with said new advisor at a department (costume) party recently. VERY strange. Best to forget and/or pretend like it never happened in the interest of continuing to build a functional, non-awkward professional relationship? Yes.

Overall, I feel like I have too many advisor relationships to deal with. One is more than enough. Students should be given (psychiatric?) training upon entering a grad program in order to deal with their PIs.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

1200 words

is not enough to describe a cogent research proposal.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Broader Impacts II

Since my last post, I've actually become even more excited about broader impacts. In a recent lab meeting, the group decided it would be an awesome idea to create a page for the departmental website that outlined volunteer, outreach, and diversity-increasing activities. Not only would people have more ideas for their grant proposals, but I think people would actually be more inspired to get out of the lab! My advisor and the lab group will be oraganizing a 'participatory' seminar on the topic to be conducted in spring. Can't wait to post an update on that!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Broader Impacts

So, I said I would muse on broader impacts, so here we go.

I think at the time I wrote the last post, I was feeling uninspired and unsure of how to add those broader impacts (i.e. increase accessibility of knowledge to underrepresented groups in the sciences) into my proposals. I have since completed said proposal writing, and am actually fairly excited about my broader impacts. It helps to have relevant institution-based programs that serve this purpose, becuase then you can say you will cooperate with such and such a program. Smaller institutions would be at a disadvantage potentially in this regard.

Also, I've been utterly swamped with classwork and grant writing, and I would be HAPPY to do some research combined with outreach to people OUTSIDE my department/lab. I guess I have plenty of time for that while I'm here.....

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Overdue Update.

Well, it's been quite a while since my last post, and I'm feeling like an update is in order. Since my last post, I've defended my masters thesis and started school at my PhD institution.

Finishing my masters (actually submitting the final signed copy) seems farther away now than it has all summer. With all my new classes and different demands on my time, how am I supposed to finish off this manuscript??

My writing energies will likely be focused on applying for grants (at least for a little while), but maybe I'll be wanting a break from that. Related to this: thoughts on Broader Impacts to come soon.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Sentence: 5 to life

Hooray! I've finally decided on a location for my PhD. It turns out I didn't really have a choice, but this school is one of the best, if not the best, for what I'm planning on studying.

My MS has been relatively smooth sailing probably when compared to what I will experience over the next 5 - 7 years.

It seems sometimes that my life is utterly defined by my research and schooling - this seems good at times and at others, rather depressing, or perhaps disturbing.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

What is Ecology?

I am frequently encountering situations in which it is appropriate for me to explain to someone my research interests in 1-2 succinct 5-10 word sentence(s). In the scientific community, this seems much less challenging (to my surprise) than in a non-science setting. This is particularly true for me, I think, because I study ecology. I find myself saying "I study ecology/environmental science" rather than simply "I study ecology". If I ever leave off the extra "environmental science", I get blank stares or inquiring questions like, "Oh, that's where you tell people where they can and can't build, right?" And I suppose the short answer to this questions is more or less "yes" in the applied sense, but this is not what I study when I go to the lab everyday.

I wish there was a more colloquial word for 'ecology'.