Next week will be an unusual one. I have to take my History midterm at some point, maybe this Friday, but I'd like it to be next Monday. I also have several 470 assignments to do, I have to do my film paper which is worth a whopping 75% of my final grade, aaaaand...I leave for Portland on Wednesday to go to a huge 'ol conference on Sustainability. I'm a co-author on our poster.
I've been doing a lot of thinking about graduate work as well. There is a research center in the making here on campus, all about invasive species, which is one of my passions. I could apply for a graduate grant there, which would be about $5,000. However, what I really want to do is think of a project that would benefit the Herbarium in some way, because that qualifies me for the Herbarium's graduate student assistant position, which requires that I spend a certain amount of time in the Herbarium weekly, handle all Herbarium loans...and get paid a VERY decent salary.
I love working at the Herbarium, and I really want that job. Pam, the director, says it's mine if she has anything to do with it. The project I'm considering is some sort of research on Idaho's coastal disjunct species of Pacific dogwood (Cornus nuttallii). They're common where I come from, but we have only a tiny pocket here, which were isolated in the last Ice Age and managed to survive after the glaciers melted. A study on the anthracnose fungus that's killing them off would create vey cool link between the Herbarium and the invasive species research center (the acronym is CRISSP), but now we aren't sure if the fungus is invasive. Anyway, I love dogwoods, and they're a threatened species here, so Pam is extremely interested.
So, here's what my summer might look like. I'll leave for Semester at Sea on January 18th and get back right at the end of April (30th-ish). It may take me a day or two to get out of Florida, depending on the time needed to get through customs as I disembark and whether or not mountain_child's Dad shows up with Scuba gear (I couldn't tell if he was joking or not). I'll fly home to Seattle for...maybe a week. Then I'll drive to Idaho. I'll hang out at Doc and Carrie's. I'll graduate around May 15th if all goes well. Then...I stay. I'll be in Idaho when warriorkimberly has her baby, I'll be there in the beginning of June for the huge Conference of Northwest Herbaria, and after that, I either get started on my Master's project, or I help the Herbarium with their summer collecting.
And that's the plan thus far.