Tuesday, August 20, 2013

I'm a 3rd year?!

Now that the brand new crop of first year graduate students are starting to arrive, I will officially have to introduce myself as a third year PhD candidate.  I remember meeting one of the third year students when I first started grad. school and thinking "Wow!  She has it all together and knows what she's doing!"  Now I am supposed to be the third year student who has it all together...and some days it certainly doesn't seem like that'll ever be true!

Also, two of the brand new students are joining my adviser's lab group- which means I am no longer the "baby" of my adviser's students.  I am moving up to "middle child" status and looking forward to it.  :-)

As I think ahead to the coming year (or even more immediately to fall semester), there are potentially some big research goals ahead!

  • Present research at AGU.  I am going to the AGU conference in San Francisco, CA in December for the first time.  I am very excited that I will finally be able to share my most recent research, present some cool old garnet ages, and see lots of science.  (Plus it's my first visit to San Francisco and I'll get to meet up with an old friend or two!)
  • Write and submit for publication my first, first-author paper.  It's time to tackle my first paper!  It's going to cover the same research being presented at AGU.  Then I will finally be able to openly share what I have been working on for the past year.
  • Lots and lots of lab work.  I think it's pretty self-explanatory- I need to generate as many quality garnet ages as possible on rocks from around the globe.
  • Hopefully some field work!  Who doesn't want to go look at some of Earth's oldest rocks in northern Canada or Greenland?!
  • At least two more classes.  I finally get to take isotope geochemistry.  About time, since I'm an isotope geochemist!
Here's to another year of graduate school adventures and LOTS of science ahead!

(Bonus update: This week I officially hit my 300th sample run on the TIMS.  Time for a new log book!  I also made the mistake of calculating how much time that means I've spent sitting in the TIMS chair and running the instrument and came up with a rough estimate of more than a month's worth of 12 hour days.)

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Hitting the Highlights

I can't believe that it has been about nine months since I wrote a blog post.  Blogging has unfortunately had a tendency to get pushed further and further down the to-do list in favor of new data or pressing deadlines.  

Let me just hit the highlights from the past nine months.  Since the last post I...
  • Applied for and was awarded an NSF Graduate Research Fellowship that will cover my stipend for the next three years of my PhD.
  • Submitted my dissertation proposal plus took (and passed) my written and oral qualifying exams so I am now officially a PhD candidate.
  • Completed a couple more classes.
  • Dated detrital garnets from two new field sites.
  • Attempted to still sleep, eat, and not let science totally consume my life.
  • Spent the entire past 6 weeks working super long days and cranking out data for an AGU abstract and my first paper.
Hopefully the next nine months will hold equally exciting highlights and more consistent blog posts!