This is my 100th blog post and I wanted it to be about what it means to be an ecologist, but I want it to be really good and haven't been inspired to finish that one yet and the show must go on.
I really enjoyed my winter break. The first few weeks around the holidays were hectic, but these last two have been very relaxing and fun. I spent a lot of time reading (The Golden Compass and The Subtle Knife), watching TV shows on DVD, and other non-academic things around the house. Last weekend I went on a retreat and met some new people which was fun. I saw many friends and generally had a relaxing time.
I think this semester will be busier than last semester. I'm taking three classes (required course for my program, a class with Herb, and a game theory class with Chip) and teaching two lab sections. Last semester I only took two classes so this will be a heavier load. I think that most of my progress on my own research will be within the context of these classes, so at least I'll still be making progress in that area. Our big assignment in the required class is to develop a research proposal in the NSF DDIG format so that should be useful (you have to officially be a Ph.D. candidate to submit a DDIG so I won't be able to do that for another 1.5 years or so). In Chip's class I'll be developing some kind of modeling project, which may or may not directly relate to my main research interests. And in Herb's class I'll be improving my review paper from last semester and hopefully seeing it through publication. Hopefully I'll be able to kill one large bird with these three stones.
This semester will also be busy with seminars by candidates for the landscape ecologist position UBC is hiring. I'm looking forward to seeing this process and learning more about landscape ecology since I think it might be useful for my research.
I want to talk to Herb and Leo soon about my long-term research plans. I have an idea about what I'd like to do, but I want to get a sense from them about whether or not it's worth doing. Once I do that, I need to figure out where to do it. I still don't know if I'm going to Neotropical Field Site or African Field Site this summer. On the one hand, I really want to go to African Field Site. On the other hand, the recent violence in Kenya, monkeypox, and the fact that Herb will be at Neotropical Field Site make NFS an attractive option.
Time for class!