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'.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Why I'm here.

Why indeed? I seem to be more and more absorbed by the admission process this spring and my friends and family are starting to drop hints that they don't really want to hear me talk about the various programs and people I've applied to. Hopefully this will be a forum for me to unload some of my concerns, hopes, and experiences through the process.

I'm finishing a MS at a Small State School and so have stresses associated with that, but have applied to three Large State Schools for a PhD. I've thus far been accepted to one of those LSS (go me!), but funding is scarce this year, and I may not ever get an offer from the other schools. Which is okay, but my ego would love it if I got to choose between schools!

Which brings me to my growing ego -- this recruitment process has only helped it get bigger, which I'm not sure I (or my friends and family) like. Maybe it's just growing pains?