Tuesday, 22 September 2015

Post 63: First Lab Meeting, and New Grad Students!

We had our first lab meeting this afternoon, and it was lovely to have everyone gathered in the same room after really, four months apart!

(Quick sidenote: In the last 10 minutes I have seen a hummingbird, a woodpecker, black-capped and chestnut-backed chickadees, and they are so cute!! I love this office space, right near Mystic Vale!!)

Kristen and Mary were out for an excellent field season gathering data, and Tanya was in the Galapagos for a research project unrelated to her thesis work; Hyeone was in England for a conference and workshop for a month, and we have two new students in the group, Julie and Jemma! Welcome to them both!! It is exciting to meet new students to the program.

Leaves on the Galloping Goose!
With the first meeting comes plans and ideas for what we want to do when we meet for the rest of the semester. We had a couple volunteers to send out draft articles or other writing material to share and discuss among the group, including myself (Gulp! I am already nervous about it, but am also excited to share and receive feedback about my current thesis writing for my Findings Chapter, in which I'm reintegrating earlier work that I did during this project trying to lay out the conceptual component of my thesis, where I'm connecting the dots between the novel ecosystems concept and the mountain pine beetle as an excellent case study of the concept applied, with a few case specific factors about insects (as animals) in novel ecosystems; I realized that there has been very little written on this so far...; and, then the second component of the chapter is being able to situate the empirical findings from the interviews I conducted with scientists for the thesis as well; there is a lot going on in this chapter...). This should be good. I have another two weeks to get a draft of the manuscript ready to go, and I think it should be doable.

Otherwise, it feels nice to check in with colleagues, hear about renovation plans for the building; hear about grant writing in progress and what the new research projects are going to be about, or what skills others will bring to the lab group. Definitely feeling very positive about the start of the semester!

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