I have moved on from being a graduate student. Although I don't graduate until December, I have started a new position as a post doctoral scientist of conservation genetics at the Center for Conservation Research (CCR) at Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo & Aquarium (OHDZA)! I will be working mostly on projects on lemurs and other species from Madagascar, throwing in the occasional elephant and big cat project to keep myself associated with main land Africa. I'm still settling in but it won't be too difficult a transition when I can see orangutans out the lab window and I get to take a daily safari walk to see all my favorite animals.
Being so close to the action I'll hopefully be able to get the inside scoop (like I did with the Indian rhino. The repro team showed us the birth video only hours after it happened!) and you know I'll be making regular visits to their enclosure to bask in the tail poof glory. I'd have to pass by sloth bears and tigers on the way there too. Darn.
Whatever the next four years hold for us (Americans AND the world) please remember to be kind. Be kind of each other, be kind to the environment, be kind to yourself.
The Challenge is 2-fold:
The project with the most BACKERS will receive an extra $1,000 added to their GOAL.
Our GOAL is $5,000 and we must receive 100% of our GOAL to get any of the money donated by the BACKERS.
Go to Experiment.com/liondiversity and show some support by making a donation. Any little bit helps! The more people who make donations the better. You can also help by spreading the word.
The Challenge (# of BACKERS) runs from today to Friday, June 10 @ 6PM ET
The Campaign (100% of GOAL) runs from today to Saturday, June 18
Your support is much appreciated! THANKS!!!
One step at a time I am adapting to all these changes and doing my best not to lose it (I've had a few close calls). So, what I hope will come from this shift in view of the lab while doing my work, will be a shift in successes toward my dissertation so as not to be for nothing.
Big news! This morning I got the long awaited email that my first manuscript made it through another step of the publication process: Review. This journal is known for its quick turn-around time so we actually got a formal apology for how long it took (although it was a blessing in disguise that reviewer #3 held onto it until after my prelims were over. I should bake them a cake.) So, now I have 45 days to really hit the grindstone and channel my inner Carl Sagan (scientist and Pulitzer Prize winner) because not only do I have to make the "major revisions" to my manuscript to ensure it's publication but I also have to finish writing and submit my dissertation proposal as well as complete another $50,000 grant proposal all due by the end of October.
Happy 80th Birthday Jane Goodall!
I have hinted in a couple of past posts about a big adventure I will be having this year. And, now that all the plans are officially finalized and everything is paid for, I can share the big news.
Three weeks from today I will be arriving in Africa for a three week adventure throughout South Africa and Namibia.
I will be spending two weeks in Nelspruit, South Africa with Wildlife Vets learning about wildlife conservation medicine, then, post course, I will be spending an extra week traveling South Africa and Namibia with Dr. Derr meeting with professional hunter organizations to discuss some ongoing research projects. I might even have the chance to go hunting myself (eek!).
People have been making and breaking New Years resolutions for millennia! In Roman times, on January 1st the highest officials would swear oaths to the Emperor and make resolutions to remain loyal to the republic in celebration of the two-headed god of new beginnings, Janus (for which January is named for), who looked both into the past and future.
I don't usually make "resolutions" but I, like many other people, do take the dawning of having to remember to add one when writing the year as a time to reflect on the past 365 days and determine what can be done to make this year even better. And, after a two week - much needed - holiday vacation, I am ready to get back into the swing of things and start 2014 off right! This includes getting my body back to a healthier and happier state preparing me for the loads of adventure ahead of me this year (more to come on that soon). Due to the hustle and bustle of trying to see everyone while in California and falling victim to the sweets and good eats of the holidays, I am starting off 2014 with my back hurting worse than it has in a long while and bouts of fatigue are setting in with a vengeance. I have been noticing the deterioration of my good habits and the development of ones which I am sure are the culprits for getting me to this point, most of which revolve around food. So, while mentally I am happy, physically I am not, so, it's time to make a change!
To "restore [my] body's natural ability to heal itself" I will be doing a 21-day cleanse, detox and diet called Clean by cardiologist Dr. Alejandra Junger, M.D. I have done "detox" diets before. The detox phase of the FatSmash diet is my typical go to get myself back in-line and has never steered me wrong but, this time, I wanted something more. I don't want to just re-teach myself to eat better and get myself back on track after two weeks of cheats; I want to help myself through the healing process of my illness and I think this program could do just that. The program focuses on both inner and outer (mental and physical) health and there is a whole section on Nutrigenomics and gene expression, which really speaks to my scientist side. This program is about rebuilding and restoring your whole body to become healthy and happy.
I will be going through this program with the help and support of the Curry Girl's Kitchen, my cousin and aunt's company which teaches healthy eating habits. If you are interested in trying this type of program yourself, check out www.cleanprogram.com and contact the Curry Girl's Kitchen (tell them Caitlin sent you). If you're in the Los Angeles area, you can even participate in weekly classes during the program where you will be guided through each week learning "clean" recipes.
2013 was an incredible year, but I have a feeling 2014 is going to be even better!
This morning on my way to the San Diego Zoo to collect another panda fecal sample I got the most amazing news EVER! I have been offered a spot in the Graduate Program in Genetics at Texas A&M!!! I am officially going to graduate school!
This is one of those moments in life that proves that if you have a goal and you stick with it, you CAN succeed! Never let anyone make you think that you aren't capable of pursuing your dreams. I was shot down time and time again but I never gave up. I persisted and sought to improve myself. It took 5 years, a lot of blood, sweat, tears and rejection letters but I did it. And while knowing I am going to graduate school is overbearingly exciting (it still doesn't quite feel real), I am even more excited for the next leg of this journey, actually BEING IN graduate school!
I am a biologist and my life is crap!