Saturday, February 28, 2009

Where to begin and when to end

So I will make this brief. I defended my dissertation and defended it successfully. So now I have a few hours of revisions and some little graphs to be made and I am done. Finished with this chapter of my life. Unfortunately it is never done. I now have the ever nagging expectation to publish, with my advisors suggesting publishers and journals and who to submit and when to submit, etc. And i want to, I feel obligued to, but at the same time......I don't. I have spent 6 years of my life doing what I am supposed to do in the academic world. Right now I want to live in that other world. The working world, where I go somewhere work for 8 hours, go home and participate in other activities such as cooking, reading, knitting, sewing, gardening, music listening, music playing, etc.

So I have been taking a few days to contemplate this all, only to realise that on Monday I have to put together a report on dinoflagellates from 3 sites in the GoM. Dinoflagellates are a large group of flagellate protist that thrive in marine environments (also found in freshwater). Dinoflagellates possess a unique nuclear structure at some stage of their life cycle - a dinokaryotic nucleus. The cell wall of many dinoflagellates is divided into plates of cellulose ("armor") known as a theca. These plates form a distinctive geometry known as tabulation, and is used for identification. These cysts of dinoflagellates are what make them so identifable. Also, they are highly sensitive to temperature, water pH, and water depth and their distributions are dependent on these factors.
So the project I am working on is a little assessment of dino populations in 3 sites in the GoM. At these sites I have been working on identifying the cysts present and then interpretting the environmental significance of their populations. In the next week I need to put together a cohesive story and report for this area. I just need to get it done so i can have some time to relax before i start my job in late April.

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