Whew, it’s been a full month off of writing, sorry about that, but after all of the planning for that field season, followed by the intense 10 weeks in Greece, I needed a real break to recharge my batteries before diving into this school year. Well, the break was a bit of a break from school work but it kept me on the go! I spent time in Georgia, Florida, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maine, and Nova Scotia (Canada). Let’s see, I traveled by planes, trains, cars, motorboats, sailboats, kayaks, bikes, and did no shortage of walking.
It wasn’t entirely a break from school work though. A coauthor and I got a perspective paper published (I’m excited to tell you about it, but that’s going to be a blog post itself) and we wrote two additional articles that are currently in review (at least one more blog post about that development!). I’m just starting to work through this summer’s data but this is going to be a writing intensive year. I’m excited.
Speaking of the school year, this is number four in the PhD program. I have one more semester of teaching remaining so I’ll be helping teach the Natural Science Research Methods course for new MSc students in the program. Of all the classes I’ve TA’d (all the way back to Carleton) I think this is the one I enjoy most. The course centers on conversations about developing testable research questions and appropriate methods and involves a great deal of one-on-one work with each of the students. It’s an exciting challenge learning about all kinds of different ecology – last year I had a student head to Tajikistan looking for Snow Leopards, several others working in South America monitoring sustainable forestry practices, and the rest scattered among topics and settings everywhere in between.
Year four means I have to really get working on turning my research to date into chapters so my dissertation can start taking shape. Little by little my notebook outlines and bullet points are starting to make sense, so ideally, next summer when I go back to Greece I can fill in a few last gaps and polish up this degree.
I’m getting a bit ahead of myself though. For now, a few more posts about this summer, and lots more posts about what we’re finding in the Greece data. Stay tuned.