Out in the field, our pelicans are settling in for another breeding season. Here in South Carolina, I'm still stuck in my office.
After several months of intense writing, I've finally finished my dissertation. The whole thing is seven chapters: five are manuscripts that I will be submitting to scientific journals, plus an introduction and conclusion to tie everything together. I'll be defending in a week, which involves presenting a research seminar that's open to the university community and the public, followed by a closed-door session with my advisory committee in which they get to ask me tough questions about anything and everything related to my research. After the dust settles I'll post summaries of each chapter to the blog, since they are independently quite cool and represent a ton of work by a ton of people. In the meantime, if you're in the neighborhood of Clemson on April 12th, come by and see it in person!
In other news, I have taken up writing a regular column for JSTOR Daily, an online magazine that showcases scientific papers from the JSTOR online archive. I love writing the column, which gives me a chance to explore the development of different ideas about wildlife, but it takes more work than I had expected to think of an interesting, relevant topic every two weeks! Feel free to e-mail me if there's anything you'd be interested in reading about-- I am not above crowdsourcing inspiration. You can find all of my columns at http://daily.jstor.org/category/re:-wild/.
Also, we'll be contributing to the World Seabird Twitter Conference on Friday, April 13-15th! Check out our twitter account (@project_pelican) or #WSTC2 to see all research being presented by seabirders around the world.
That's all for now. Writing can be exciting, in its own way, but I miss the birds...