Sciencewomen

Archives for April, 2009

Unbloggable week, with a silver lining

It has been a horrible week at work. Horrible. Actually, it started in the middle of last week. Suffice it to say I have had many behind-the-door conversations, real sturm und drang, and I find it completely unbloggable. Just no idea where to start. So until I figure that out, let me share the tiniest…

In praise of NASA’s Earth Observatory

Let me now sing the praises of NASA’s Earth Observatory, a phenomenal web-based public education resource that is celebrating its 10th birthday today. Every day for the past decade, NASA has been uploading spectacular remote sensing images and astronaut photographs and accompanying them with clearly written, jargon-free but scientifically accurate explanations of the pictured phenomena.…

My Zero Semester and its Ramifications

This being the last week of class, it seems appropriate to reflect a bit more on the semester just finishing. Bluntly, this has been an awful semester for me in terms of things that count toward reappointment, tenure, and (nonexistent) merit raises. If you don’t want to hear me whine a little about the suckitude…

The perils of PhDs

ScienceGrandma pointed me to this recent article in the Wall Street Journal. It’s titled “So You Want to Be a Professor?” but I think it should have been called “The Perils of a Ph.D.” The article begins by citing some examples of graduate schools that are reducing admissions of PhD applicants for next year, in…

There’s an article on the New York Times Online about Allannah Thomas, founder of Helicon, a non-profit that helps low-income women learn math skills they need for better jobs. Thomas’s courses are called “math boot camp” because of their focus on fundamental skills, and she works with women to help them develop those skills you…

Earth Day Resolutions

Alice and I have been talking about the big and small ways that universities could act to improve the environment, but Earth Day is also about making personal changes to lessen your environmental impact. So it’s fitting that Mike Dunford has issued us an Earth Day challenge: I’d like you to take a minute or…

Thinking about big ideas on Earth Day

Today for me consisted of one PhD defense (I was on the committee; it was successfully defended, congrats Dr. Ken!), a meeting about ADVANCE, 2 hrs of class, another PhD meeting that I’m on the committee of, and then a bunch of following up with folks. So it’s been pretty packed, as usual. (Tomorrow looks…

How can universities get lean? and green?

Like many other public universities around the country, Mystery U has been hit hard by the economic hard times. Most of this year, we heard ominous rumblings that (at some point) there would be a budget reversion, i.e., we’d have to send some portion of our budget back to the state coffers. But all was…

A feminist or not a feminist? A rant.

Blogger Feministx popped over the other day to visit and leave a comment on SW’s “goody goody” post. I hadn’t read Feministx before, but she claims she “started my blog with the intention of focusing on feminist concerns, but lately I have taken to writing about the biological basis of human behavior.” Feministx invited Sciencewomen…

I’ve noticed that a certain grimness has entered my colleagues’ and my attitude over the last week or so. It’s a “there is only (X) days/weeks left, we just have to finish” attitude, similar to what I anticipate marathon runners experience around about 24 miles or so. A just keep going, don’t break down now,…