Thursday, December 10, 2015

Fall 2015 Round-up

The Fall 2015 academic semester has ended at Texas Tech University, and students are on their way back to the places from which they will be from (to paraphrase an excellent Semisonic ballad).  I have submitted final grades and am spending some time working on neglected manuscripts and new proposals.

This semester saw the addition of two B.S.students-- Zac Tatum and Maria Gracias-Hernandez and two M.S. students to the lab-- Neil Estes and Jonathan Knudsen.  They have brought renewed energy and enthusiasm as they formulate ideas and proposals.  Britt Smith completed his dissertation proposal (woo hoo!) and is working on sorting hundreds of insect samples that he collected this summer.

The lab attended the Association for Fire Ecology's 6th Fire Congress in San Antonio, Texas.  I presented my work on fire effects on ant populations, communities, and body condition in a special session on fire effects on animals led by Dr. Derek Scasta (U. Wyoming).  Britt Smith presented a project on Google Trends during the poster session.  We also managed to check out a few cool places along the Riverwalk while we were there.

L-R, Neil Estes, Britt Smith, Jonathan Knudsen begrudgingly pose for a photo by a bridge

I'm already looking forward to Spring 2016-- Prescribed burning class (always a blast!), new exciting projects at the Valles Caldera National Preserve in New Mexico, Southwestern Branch of the Entomological Society of American meetings in February, and the International Association for Wildland Fire 5th Annual Fire Behavior and Fuels conference in Portland, Oregon in April.  

I hope all of you have a safe and wonderful winter break and a happy holiday season!

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