Last week I gave my final seminar presentation to my department, presenting the results of 3 of my 4 thesis chapters. As mentioned previously I had given a practice talk to my lab, which was very helpful. In addition, I gave 2 other practice talks to friends which allowed me to further refine both the slides and my speech (talking slower and keeping closer to a simple story that matched the slides without any tangents). I think the final result was pretty good.
Over the past two weeks I have been a busy bee. I have been splitting my time between trying to write a research proposal for a post-doc, editing and incorporating feedback into my Montreal P budget manuscript, still writing a draft of my Montreal “facilitators & barriers to recycling” manuscript, and trying to incorporate feedback on my urban P framework manuscript. As one might expect, progress is thus slow on all of them. I am finding the proposal writing particularly challenging. I haven’t written a proposal in a few years, and this one isn’t about my existing core knowledge about P (it is actually about N).
I am trying to use my writing tool-box developed since my Master’s degree (see previous blog posts, and taking these writing tips into consideration as well). I am finding the balance between needing/wanting to read relevant literature that I am not yet familiar withs vs. actually free-writing and getting a draft of the proposal done. This experience is making me realize that I have definitely started to fall into a confort zone with the general P sustainability literature (I have the basics and I add to it with google scholar alerts, feedly updates, and punctuated searches). I am really excited about delving into strongly connected, but less familiar, territory, although I am a little surprised at how scary it is (I love new research questions and I guess I thought enthusiasm would out-weight fear, but this really isn’t the case here).
Art-science side note: Scientists (or curious innovators and thinkers if we don’t want to call them formal scientists) have long worn a double hat as artists (I am thinking of Leonardo Da Vinci). Apparently this double hat also applied to Beatrix Potter, who documented the fauna and flora around here as a naturalist (including fungi), and used that same talent to write and illustrate children’s books.And speaking of children, I saw a cool website (that does open access science) through the twitter grape-vine, where one can find great projects/activities to do with kids of all ages to understand and investigate the environment around us.