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COMPASS - the OIRED blog

My portfolio of alter-studies

lichenMy uncle is friends with a couple who are both scientists. He invites them to my cousins’ birthday parties, so we get to chat a few times a year. The couple met during their school days, fell in love over textbooks and microscopes, got married, and support themselves by teaching and researching. Best of all, they get to travel. They travel all over the world to interesting places like the Gunib plateau in the Caucasus, the rainforests of Borneo, and the deserts of the high Arctic in pursuit of their science.

What do they study? Continue reading »

My spirit animal is a sponge

Why You Hate Work” was an article sent to me by a friend earlier this week. Why would you blog about hating your job? And perhaps more importantly – what does this have to do with sponges?

Continue reading »

Timbuktu – Part II

This is Part II of a post about a trip I took to Mali in 2009. Part I explains the purpose of my visit to Mali, and begins the journey.

on camel

Me on a camel, about to trek across the desert with my Tuareg guide

When I last left off, my colleague Maria Elisa and I were heading out across the desert in a Land Cruiser towards the Niger River, on our way to Timbuktu. Cheikh, our driver, capably navigated the terrain while our guide Yousef kept us entertained with his vast knowledge of the country and his stories about previous tourists. We hoped that we ourselves would not turn into a story one day. Continue reading »

Photo Gallery – Images from the Field

Since I have been occupied most of this week and last with putting together a conference presentation for InnovATE, I lost track of my blog post and hadn’t put together a theme or topic. During a team meeting while we were editing the powerpoint, I had a eureka moment. As my colleague was sifting through the dozens of file folders full of scores of photos to find just the right picture for our slide, I knew then that I would share the best images with you here.

Hammett NIC 4-14 (386)

Nicaragua Apr 14 credit: T. Hammett

As I scroll through the thumbnails on my desktop, I don’t have the background or context other than trip reports and quick conversations with our faculty in the field.  I am simply looking for stand-outs. Continue reading »