Next Tuesday, I take my oral PhD candidacy exam – I won’t be a Dr. yet (passing this just makes me a candidate to get the degree) but it’s a major hurdle in my journey as a grad student.  Wish me luck!

I don’t think these rules ONLY apply to scientists, but I love them anyway:


via xiominy


Florida Bay + Taylor River

Tagged along on a sampling field trip yesterday – We shoved off of Key Largo, crossed Florida Bay and worked our way up the meandering, mangrove-lined Taylor River as far as our boat would go.

Spotted 3 manatees, 2 sharks, stingrays, pelicans and a variety of other creatures along the way:dsc_0007 dsc_0043dsc_0021dsc_0025 dsc_0053dsc_0048 dsc_0057 dsc_0072 dsc_0077dsc_0065

Alaska Coffee Roasting Co.

My new favorite study spot:  Alaska Coffee Roasting Co.

They have 2 locations:  1 in Fairbanks, AK and 1 in North Miami, FL (weird, right?)

They roast their coffee on site (I’ve had 3 different kinds already and love them all) and serve up some amazing sandwiches.  I can’t wait to meet Jim for lunch there someday so we can try one of their wood-fire pizzas!

I spent about 7 hours there yesterday grading a giant stack of lab reports and studying for my last final ever.  dsc_0067dsc_0058dsc_0064 dsc_0071In a city where nearly every coffee shop is a chain, this little cafe is a welcome breath of fresh air :)

Never Stop

Just popping in to say “hello” – It’s been too long since I’ve posted here, but for good reason.

This month has been all together busy and exciting …

  • I’ve been planning a trip to Colorado next week for field sampling and a dissolved organic matter fluorescence workshop
  • I’m finalizing an experimental design that will likely take me all summer to finish, but I expect that the results are going to be pretty awesome
  • Our group recently published in Science and the story was picked up by both NSF and the Wall Street Journal (!!) – This publication is essentially the precursor to what I am currently working on (just in case you were wondering what I do all day in lab) – We know that black carbon is associated with dissolved organic matter, but how?  This is the question I need to answer
  • After this week I am completely finished with college classes … of course I will still constantly be learning, observing and absorbing information related to my research, but I am stoked to never have to cram for another final ever again


P.S.  It’s National Parks Week!  Free admission to all national parks until April 28th!  Get out and explore :)

Graduate School, Year 1 – Done!

Seriously, can someone please pinch me?  Where did the past two semesters go??

I can’t believe I am already done with my first year of graduate school!

AND (barring any unforeseen mistakes I might have made on my final this morning) I’m pretty sure I’ll be wrapping up this year with a 4.0 GPA!  Thank you, University of Delaware, for forcing me to endure your ridiculous chemistry curriculum as an undergrad – You’ve obviously prepared me well.

Now that I don’t have to worry about classes for a few months, I can spend more time in the lab – Yay!

That isn’t sarcasm, by the way – I’m really excited that my days will go from looking like this …

… to this!!

Okay maybe not quite that – But you get the idea.

Good luck to all my fellow students who are wrapping up their semesters too!