AGU, publications, and departmental reorganization

Just a quick three notes:

1. I am going to the AGU meeting in December! I found out recently that I was awarded a student travel grant, so I will be heading to San Francisco in December. I am so excited for this meeting (it’s my first AGU, and I’ve heard the biogeochemistry community there is great) and to see California for the first time. The best thing about it is that I also found out that one of my best friends from home is going to be there too, presenting her Ph.D. research on modelling cosmic ray incidence on Earth (I think). Only at the AGU would our research areas cross!

2. I can confirm that my final M.S. chapter was accepted today by Organic Geochemistry! I am so pleased to have all three chapters from my thesis accepted/published. We waited a while before submitting this one, in order to gather more data from a parallel trial, and the final version looks very different from what went into my thesis. On the advice of reviewers, I managed to pare the manuscript down to what was really essential and novel, while when writing my thesis, I think I had the mentality, “Look at all the work I did!” which resulted in a somewhat dense and less exciting chapter.

3. Five departments in CALS are joining together to create a School, under the college’s restructuring initiatives. I think there could be lots gained by strengthening the connections between departments (horticulture, plant biology, plant breeding and genetics, plant pathology and plant-microbe biology, and crop and soil science). However, I am very anxious about what this will mean for soil science. I am worried our field will be forgotten under the “plant science” departments. While the argument is that more strategic faculty hiring decisions can be made if the five departments work together, it’s not clear that researchers from the other departments would prioritize hiring more soil scientists. With soils at the base of our food system, critical to climate change, and an exciting frontier in microbial diversity, it seems crazy to let soil science take a back seat, especially at a land grant institution! I will definitely be following this issue closely over the coming months.


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