Did I mention I’m off to Vietnam?

You know that feeling of just wanting to savor a bit of news for yourself? When you’d rather not shout things out to the world because the world feels noisy enough as it is? While I have posted about my travels over the past several months, I’ve generally not felt like sharing much more on social media. It’s actually a relief when you reach a point where feel you don’t have to share. It’s like you’ve quietly returned to pre-21st century life, when Christmas newsletters were a thing because there was no Facebook or Instagram or Twitter or whatever else there is today.

So, while I may have shared hints of what’s to come, I haven’t broadcasted widely about the news of my Fulbright to Vietnam this coming spring semester. I still meet people who are surprised to hear I am going. Nor have I told many people about the grant I got with a couple of my UNC colleagues from the National Science Foundation (unrelated to the Fulbright work). Both are really very big deals, but these things always feel buried by so many other things going on in the world, and I wasn’t feeling the energy I needed to share the news.

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Antarctica Bound with Homeward Bound

I have some news I haven’t shared with too many people yet: One year from today, I will be crossing the Drake Passage on my way to the Antarctic Peninsula with a group of about 80 other women scientists from around the world. It will be the culmination of a year-long professional program for women in STEMM (science, technology, engineering, math and medicine) called Homeward Bound. How cool is that?


Homeward Bound is a major, not-for-profit initiative to equip 1000 women scientists over 10 years with skills in leadership and strategic decision-making in the context of global climate change science. The goals are not only to help women understand themselves as leaders, but also to help them understand how they can have a greater impact together – and then strategize ways to have an impact – to help nudge the world back onto a more sustainable path. My program starts online next month, and culminates in a 3-week expedition to Antarctica, sailing from Ushuaia, Argentina on December 31, 2018. My group will be the third cohort to go through the program. Continue reading

Favorite Spots in Cuenca #5 – Quinta Balzay

For those of you wondering about my silence on this blog lately, I should let you know that I landed safely back in Colorado last weekend – I’m HOME! But I still have a lot to say about Ecuador, and many blog posts in the works, so stay tuned! Today I want to share a bit about another of my favorite places in Cuenca.

I’m one of those lucky people who, mostly, enjoys my job. Given how much time I spend working, that’s a good thing. So, for this installment of ‘Favorite Spots in Cuenca’, I felt I had to mention the place in Cuenca where I spent the most time (other than the house where I lived): The Quinta Balzay, a satellite campus of the University of Cuenca.2015_0721i Continue reading

Meteorology Field Camp in the Andes!

Imagine a high, windswept, rolling plain, with tall grasses sprouting from spongy soil. This is a place where you can watch the clouds and feel them engulf you before they scurry past, as they race to the next mountain top. The sky here is ever-changing, offering an occasional glimpse of blue, where wispy cirrus cruise by at a leisurely pace high above compared to the ragged cumulus and foggy patches that race by just above your head.


Llamas on the páramo. They were our audience as we hiked to one of the weather stations.

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Keeping Creativity Alive in the Ivory Tower

I have taught for 19 semesters straight – yes, almost 10 years – two or three classes per semester, sometimes with a lab. That’s 19 sets of midterms (2-3 per semester per class), 19 sets of final exams, probably close to 2000 students, and many thousands of homework assignments, papers, and projects to grade. Now, in my 20th semester of employment, I get to take a breather.

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