Another academic year rolls in...

The university semester system starts courses early. That means today (25 August 2014). The start of any "school year" (even if research never really stops) brings about a sense of urgency for most people around a college campus. There's a grip of stuff to do as the undergraduates flood back to campus with their corny longboards, even cornier Bonobos/Gilt fashions, raging hormones and watery, cheap beer (USU, oddly enough, replaces this with Mountain Dew and candy). With the influx of humans born between 1990 and 1997 comes an energy and a sense of what universities do aside from research: educate the masses. With these youthful, knowledge-hungry masses back around campus, I always get the impression that I need to take care of a few things before I can be officially get back into my own school mode. For example, last weekend's to-do list looks about the same as my back-to-school checklist did in 1994...when I was nine.
  • Pack my lunch. To-do
  • Get new school shoes. Check.
  • Fold clean laundry. To-do.
  • Back-up, double-back-up and triple-back up the season's field data. In process; procrastinating with blog.
  • Pack work-out bag and clean clothes for the week. To-do.
  • Set some goals for the year. Check.
  • Make a plan to reach those goals. In process.
  • Act on the plan to reach those goals. In process.
  • Update relevant contact information, website, CV, Linkedin, etc. (Okay, I didn't do this when I was nine). Check.
While the pre-school routine remains largely the same, one thing has changed: having to produce. With high self-imposed expectations and many projects, I have to aim high and get everything done that I aspire to within a given school year. With a stacked schedule for 15-straight week, it's pretty difficult to grind hard all semester. I only get by with some existing momentum, some good friends and colleagues, and when working in shared spaces that require headphones or earplugs, some sweet tunes.

Case in point, here's a view into the last three weeks of teamwork, cohort building and field data:

Mixing on the Snake River, Wyoming

#DronesforScience, Logan, UT
Patrick Belmont explains how much one can learn from a longitudinal profile, Moose, WY

Keeping it Kenny with the Drone in Logan, UT.

Salt dilution methods for measuring discharge...hidden by a tussock
Field ace, Logan Elmore keeping it real on Mahogany Creek, UT

Field boss, Marco Negovschi keeps his post-field attire classy. Lynn, UT

Cedar gif atop Arizona

In addition to working with my team on the field game and running hard on stream restoration, here's a sample of what I'm making figures and writing to right now:

Whether you're on these semesters or those quarters, make that work and have a damn good time doing it. Waking up every day to be surrounded by the smart and motivated and do work worth doing is a sweet privilege. Here's to a great 2014-15 academic year!

Greatest Hits