So, I have been very, very bad at keeping this blog updated in the past few months, so to any of you who might still be following me, I apologize. One of the major reasons is that I intend on graduating this spring. Intend being the operative word, haha. So the end of the summer was spent setting up and breaking down mesocosm experiments daily, while continuing work on 2 spatfall monitoring projects, daily crap megalopae collector sampling, and writing. And writing. And writing. And also trying to learn the all important, super useful tool known as GIS. And writing.
Once the experimental season “ended” after Halloween (note I use quotations because my last dives were only a few weeks ago and we just pulled the boat from the water last week), I had to really hunker down and get some writing done, prepare my CERF presentation, and start applying for jobs. That’s right, jobs! At this point, I am essentially ABD, and that is what some of the writing has been. But I also realize that I need to significantly up my publication record in order to get ANY job (currently sit with only 3 published manuscripts – only 2 as primary author), so I have been working hard on many, many manuscripts. I currently have 3 more in review (including another primary authorship), 1 essentially ready for submission and 1 in preparation (currently sitting on my advisor’s desk. So there’s been all that.
And also, applying for jobs requires a lot of writing. Cover letters. Teaching Philosophies. Research Statements. Application materials. Ugh. And each one has to be different to fit the specific job description, which means I essentially re-write all 3 things for each application (which I have applied to 5 jobs thus far, and have 5 more applications due by the middle of January). All this writing, and re-writing. I often find myself wondering why anyone ever graduates! It’s stressful now, but ultimately, I do intend to leave Long Island and start a hopefully long, prosperous research career. Somewhere. ANYWHERE.
So that’s been it. No pretty pictures of that. Although I have been doing a considerable amount of reading as well, so I suppose I have no excuse for not doing a Research Blogging post in a while. And I have no excuse for not writing up on my CERF experience (although I will say that my presentation went well, and I saw numerous well-presented research projects). But sometimes, when I have been writing all day, it is hard to motivate myself to do it when I get home. I tip my hat to the guys over at Deep Sea News, Southern Fried Scientist,Ya Like Dags, In the Grass, On the Reef, and anyone else I forgot, who seem to be able to post on a very regular basis. Hopefully I can get back to that soon. Hopefully.
The good news is that the more I get into my data analysis, the happier I become. Not because all the results are what I was expecting (rather, some quite the contrary), but because they are very interesting, and you don’t see the patterns in the daily grind of doing the experiments. It is only now that I am starting to see some cool things emerge. And isn’t that what doing science is all about?
One more thing. I leave next Wednesday for a working vacation of sorts. I call it a “vacation” if only in the sense that I will be traveling elsewhere to do work, and to me, any time I get to leave Long Island, that’s a vacation. This January, I am lucky enough to travel to Jamaica as part of the Tropical Marine Ecology course offered by the School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences. You should be sure to track the trip at this blog, as the students make daily updates and you can go back through the archives for all the previous trips. I am going to co-teach the course with another graduate student to increase my teaching experience. But I am also going to help my labmate Amber out on some of her research down there as well. I hope that between the teaching and research, I will have plenty of time to get up to date on posts here, after I get all my applications out by January 15th!
Anyway, for those who have kept checking in, I offer my apologies for not posting more often. Expect that to change soon!
On a final note, I will leave you with this FoxNews video highlighting some of the success in the scallop restoration effort here on Long Island that I have been working on and blogging about for years.
Happy New Year!