Washington to Idaho and back again...
I just returned from a challenging and exhilarating interview for a fellowship at the University of Idaho in Moscow, ID. The UI and CATIE have had a long standing Interdisciplinary Graduate Education and Education Research Traineeship (IGERT) through the NSF on linked Social-Ecological landscapes. I interviewed with seven outstanding folks from across the U.S., and had a blast seeing their experiences, aspirations and thought processes on researching and restoring the fragmented Palouse prairie ecosystem. The faculty at the U of I were also incredibly generous, lending their time and ideas at numerous ends. I have rarely experienced such gracious hosts outside of the realms of music and sport, but it was great to hear from everyone from Sanford Eigenbrode to Nilsa Bosque-Perez and Jo Ellen Force.
Regardless of the outcome, I feel as if I'm better off from the experience of sitting and smashing around ideas with a handful of my peers from across the biological and social sciences. It's the kind of discussions that we engaged in that rarely happen outside of professional conferences. In the end, I think we've made serious progress towards building future collaborative brain trusts across organizations and disciplines. It was great to meet and work with Chris Baugher, Mo Essen, Sara Galbraith, Matt Ampleman, Joelle Laing, KevinDecker and Mailea Miller-Pierce! All the best to these stellar cats for a fun couple days in the Palouse.
Image: Camas prairie by Ben Hu.