I recently finished up my time at Utah State University and admittedly have all of the standard post-dissertation mixed feelings about academic culture, research, and the role of science in public discourse, decision-making, and conserving and restoring our planet's diverse ecosystems. One thing that I don't waiver on at all is how fortunate I am and have been. I have to acknowledge that a lot of people provided me with a lot of support while I learned and discovered. While I was allowed to write a really long, self-indulgent dissertation acknowledgement page, I think it's only fair that I choose a more loose format to really spill the beans on how so many people allowed and enabled me to pursue a career in ecological restoration, research, and instill a mindset of critical thinking, self-teaching, and productive criticism.
What will follow this summer is a rolling series of posts that start in Cleveland, head to Seattle and then hit the road across several western states to acknowledge how many people go into the construction of an ecologist, hard-headed jock, and lifelong learner (that last one is particularly in progress). Maybe I just like to do things the hard way:
"I don't need to do the easy things...I need to do the hard things..."
Hard way or not, I've been jamming some tunes to help get things done: