Hubby: algae? http://freethou
Wednesday, April 25, 2012
Hubby: algae? http://freethou
Tuesday, April 24, 2012
After spending all last week banging out a poster, it's good to be back in the lab today, back to lab work. I walked by the hood this morning and noticed my digestion tubes full of diatoms in nitric acid and I thought, "Aw shit, I gotta take care of those today!" Hopefully those diatoms aren't ruined since they've been siting in acid for 2 weeks....gulp!
But the next 3 weeks are going to be super busy! I need to make a BETTER poster for the next meeting (now with 42.78% more data!!), work on the revisions for the manuscript with MS Advisor that I promised I'd do, and finish up all this end of semester stuff that always comes up.
End of the semester stuff promises to really get in the way of research activities. The university's teaching lab space is getting renovated over the summer, which means that all the TA's have been conscripted into moving all of the stuff associated with our various labs out of the rooms to be constructed. Crates of test tubes and Petri dishes, cabinets of microscopes, computers, incubators, buckets of animals...it's ALL got to be moved and it's all going to get moved by the TA's. Not to mention all of the random, expired, chemicals that will have to be taken care of. Though really it's better that we do it since we'll be able to keep all of the materials for each lab separated, rather than some ginormous pile that university employees would make.
Anyhoo, that's the update from grad-student-land. The conference was good (no lobster though!! how can you have a conference in Maine with no lobster?!), and now it's time to get back to work!
Right after another cup of coffee....
Saturday, April 21, 2012
So, if you've been following me on Twitter, then you know that this weekend is the NEAS conference. It's a small regional conference where the majority of participants are macro marine phycologists (I.e. seaweed). I've eaten so much Dulse and kelp I'm all good on iodine for the next 5 years.
Because it's a marine based conference, and because I spent all of 2 days on my poster, I'm not at all surprised that I didn't win any awards...how delusional would that be. But, of the 5 student from the lab who came 3 of us presented, and 2 of those people won awards. Not that I'm not happy for them, they totally deserve to be recognized for their hard work. It just sucks to be the only presenter from your lab who doesn't get any recognition.
This is on top of yet another funding rejection from the other society I'm an active member in. This was the 3rd application I've submitted to them, and the rejection is starting to feel personal.
I'm just down in the dumps, because after 8 months of really hard work, I've got questionable results for a study (that's now in question whether or not it'll continue) that no one wants to fund. Not that I didn't see any of this coming from a mile away, but that it all slammed together at once is disheartening.
So, just to keep me in the relevant search results, #climatebitch.
I realize that the above is a bit "woe is me" and I don't mean to kvetch. I don't know where I was going with that apology, but I'm sorry for whining.
Friday, April 13, 2012
Pregnant Ecologists It's not all of the conversation, but a little digging on Ecolog should turn the rest of it up. I'm sort of torn, and maybe this makes me a bad woman, because I understand that if you're pregnant/with a new baby you probably shouldn't schedule yourself for 4 months of Alaska field work. But I also understand that shit happens and you don't always plan to have a baby. And the mentality of "you're a woman who's thinking about having kids, so you should not embark on a big ecological study that requires physical activity" just doesn't sit well with me, especially as a woman in a physically demanding field of ecology.
Tennessee "Monkey Law" This is just a straight up fail. Shame on this governor for not vetoing it. It's all well and good to foster a culture of debate in science since that's how we learn, but there are some things that are just not up for debate! Like Evolution...you don't debate facts, just because you don't agree with them.
Current Drought Map I don't normally link to read USA Today since they removed the Science section from their mobile app, but I thought this was a nice succinct map that was worthy of a #climatebitch if I ever saw one.
So enjoy these internet offerings
Thursday, April 12, 2012
This would never happen at my university ('cause they're all religious and stuff), but I'm glad that it is still happening at other universities.
When I was an undergrad, I had a friend who was a grad student and was active in our grad student union. She was glad it was there, since without the union the university wouldn't have provided them with health care or protected grad students from being just research drones for faculty.
Something like this could be very helpful at our school. We definitely have unequal working conditions between departments when it comes to how much a grad student is paid, how long they're paid for, what they're expected to do for that pay, and how intense your thesis/dissertation is. However, our university is generally good to us about things like health care...sure it's basic emergency coverage with no birth control option (damn Catholics), but it's better than the nothing I had before.
I understand Montana State's opinion that because they're students they shouldn't be able to form a union, but fundamentally, we are employees. We don't take nearly the course load an undergrad would. Yes, we're learning through our research process, but it's the same process that we'd be going through for research if we were faculty or a post-doc. All academics learn something from their research endeavors, so are they really students too? Plus, we're being paid...we're paid to teach classes and turn out research that makes us, the department, and then university look good, in exchange for taking a few classes and ultimately a degree. Sure if they decided to not pay us, it's not directly firing us...but indirectly it is. I don't know many graduate students who have the financial wherewithal to bankroll their own degree. Losing funding = termination of degree.
So good on you, Grad Student's of Montana State University! I wish you much success with your new union and I hope your lives are all improved because of it!
Friday, April 6, 2012
We are also processing the algae we collected today. This is also redic, btw.
Last year, I would make daily trips up here; 3 hours of driving up, hit 5 streams, drive 3 hours home. Last night we made the 3 hour trip up. And today we hit 9 streams! And how we are processing the samples. There is a lot of fine sediment, so they're taking a little longer than usual, but we should finish tonight (hopefully)
Here are some pictures of our crazy hotel room set up. My advisor promised to come bail us out if we get arrested for having a meth lab :-).
Wednesday, April 4, 2012
I have decided that I want to get a hashtag trending on Twitter. #Climatebitch
Since we are now getting reamed by Mother Nature because we fucked it up, please use #climatebitch whenever you want to complain about the weather doing something unseasonable.
For example, last week it snowed after a week of 70+ temps. #Climatebitch
Or how we had the highest EVER pollen count for the month of March? #Climatebitch
Any examples you'd like to share? Leave 'em in the comments or share on teh Twitterz!
Just remember: #Climatebitch