After two poster presentations last week, this week’s #throwbackthursday is a timely look back at the first event I presented at, back in November 2013.
I started species identification of earthworms after attending a course in 2013 which proved very useful when I went on to sample earthworms and other soil animals during my MSc project.
Beware: This might be quite long.
Blog #01. Woohoo! Let’s get started.
Before coming to London, I lived in St. Maarten, a tiny island in the Caribbean, where the beaches are crystal clear and the airport runway is next to the beach. No kidding.
Did you know: London is 607 square-miles. That’s 16.4 times the size of St. Maarten!
Moving to an enormous city like London to study at such a prestigious university like Imperial College is a big step for me and my family. I’m so psyched to be here and I’m having a great time so far.
But anyway, how did my great time at Imperial start?
So, as we approach December, a somewhat less festive prospect lies underneath the tinsel and mince pies: End of term exams. Now, I honestly think its a good thing that we have exams, but it still feels a bit daunting. Therefore, as the title suggests, I have started revision in full force! Well, probably not full force – Let’s say a steady increase in force with respect to time. On the bright side, we just started a project in which we design and build a miniature hovercraft, which we test against everyone else’s at the end of the year.
Last Wednesday I did a behind the scenes tour of the Natural History Museum, which was great. (Even if I ended up doing it on my own as my friend got stuck in Heathrow!)
It’s a good museum anyway, what with all the Dinosaurs, but to get to see some of their giant ‘spirit collection’ (animals and plants in jars) was really interesting. They have some weird and wonderful things there, including mice with transparent skin and red stained bones, a jar of whales’ eyes and a giant squid, which alone makes the tour worthwhile. (It’s a giant squid for goodness sake—all giant and pink and with tentacles with serrated edges.) You can also see some of the scientists working and some of the original specimens that Charles Darwin collected.
I’ve attended two conferences this week, with different audiences and it’s been tiring! On Tuesday I was the Wildlife Gardening Forum Conference held at the Natural History Museum where I presented a poster on my forthcoming Citizen Science project Earthworm Watch. This conference was a celebration of 10 years of the Wildlife Gardening Forum, a charity for people and organisations interested in wildlife gardening. The next day I was off to Reading University presenting the same poster at the Healthy Soils for a Healthy Life event held by the Soil Research Centre. This event consisted of talks, networking and workshops on the theme of healthy soils – including how we define healthy soils and what indicators we can use.
Wow it has been so long since I have posted a blog! Many things have occurred since my last update in June, post-exams and we’re now midway through autumn term at Imperial! To new readers: greetings. To old readers (i.e. my parents): sorry I haven’t been posting for a while! I’ll do my best to catch you up with what’s going on in my life at the moment.
For one thing, the student bloggers are having a photoshoot done today to update our pictures that appear on the blog. Although the finished products always look great, the process of the photoshoot itself is very cringey and involves standing in a small room striking random poses until the photographer puts you out of your misery.
This week I thought I’d write a quick blog about my experiences as an Independent Visitor. I’ve described what this is in other blogs, but since I’ve been matched with my young person for over six months now, I just want to give a quick summary of some of my experiences so far.
Being an IV means you are matched with one child or young person who is no longer in contact with their family. The idea is that you can form a friendship with them that has been chosen by both of you and is ‘independent’ of the many other adults in their lives who encounter the young person as part of their job.
I’m not really sure where to begin with what is going on at the moment so I’m just going to make a list.
I was deliberating whether I should blog about the more negative aspects of this term at all, but I think I will, because it wouldn’t be fair to pretend like everything’s always marvellous at Imperial!
Actually I’ll make two lists: good things and bad things.
Bad things about this term
-I’ve decided to drop quantum field theory even though it’s one of the courses I have been really excited about studying ever since first year. It is heavily linked to another course that I don’t have enough space to take for a start, I find the lecturer very confusing, and it seems like we won’t actually get to do any of the interesting features of quantum field theory and will just end up deriving very basic results.
Over one year into my PhD now, and I had been hoping to blog a little reflection on this but things have been rather hectic! Instead here is a look back to some more earthworm fieldwork I volunteered on in November 2013, digging holes in Somerset and Berkshire.
For eight days in November I returned for more earthworm survey work with the Natural History Museum Soil Biodiversity Group, this time in Somerset and Berkshire. A small team of volunteers this time, just myself and long-time SBG volunteer Irfaan, travelled first to the Somerset site to continue work started the previous week.