So, what’s happened over the last two years? I’m working on writing more briefly, so let’s give it a try.
From December 2010 to May 2011, I continued volunteering at the Clark Lab and the California Wolf Center. (See Moving Out, and Moving On.)
From May 2011 to August 2011, I worked with the Clark Lab on two field projects, one studying rattlesnake-ground squirrel interactions at Blue Oak Ranch Reserve in eastern Santa Clara County (near San José), and the other studying rattlesnake-kangaroo rat interactions at Mojave National Preserve in San Bernardino County in southeastern California. Both were awesome experiences and I may write more about them sometime in the future, but for now I point you to two blogs: Snakes in the Grass on BORR’s Director’s Blog, and the always entertaining Strike, Rattle, & Roll by Bree Putman, the graduate student I worked with.
From August 2011 to April 2012, I moved back to San José and applied for jobs and graduate schools (Master of Science programs). Bolstered by my recent field experience and my work with the CWC, I got closer to landing a job than I ever did before, but still didn’t get any offers. I was more successful on the grad school front. I got four offers: the Ophir Lab at Oklahoma State University, the Moffatt Lab at San Francisco State University (co-advised with Jan Randall), the Rowe Lab at Sam Houston State University, and the Mitchell Lab at Indiana State University. All of these offers except the Mitchell Lab one were for M.S. programs. Though all of these people would’ve been great advisers, I ended up choosing the Ophir Lab for several reasons. First, I’ll admit it – the OSU offer provided the best funding level. Second, I met with Professor Alex Ophir and found that we shared a passion for studying animal behavior, and I felt that he would provide the dedicated mentoring I would need. Third, though I didn’t have much background with the neurophysiological aspects of animal behavior the Ophir Lab specialized in (something that made me very hesitant to join the lab at first), I thought it would be very good for me to be more immersed in that side of biology that I was less strong in, to make myself more well-rounded.
From April 2012 to July 2012, I moved to a house owned by my parents in Fairview (near Hayward) and managed properties owned by them and some of their associates for a living.
In late July 2012, I moved to Stillwater, Oklahoma (that journey could make for a whole blog entry in itself!) to begin my graduate education at Oklahoma State University, and I’ve been here ever since.
Since the Fall 2012 semester started in August, I’ve been super busy balancing research (which up to now has been training, project development, and grant application writing), coursework, and the most time-consuming responsibility of all, teaching (as a teaching assistant) a monster of an introductory biology laboratory course called BIOL 1114. The first part of August, when I didn’t have to deal with classes and TAing, now seems like a dreamy, worry-free past by comparison. So I haven’t had time for much else, and I’m reactivating this blog mainly because there are some must-post entries, primarily revolving around the upcoming election, I want to get in soon. Until winter break comes in December (and man am I looking forward to it!) I’ll post only sporadically and when it’s timely. I am planning on starting a weblog revolving around my research work and interests; I’ll have a link up for that when it’s set up.