I'm not the best at updating about my progress, but I'm happy to say things are going well.
I'm wrapping up edits on my thesis at the University of Wyoming. I defended near the end of the semester, and decided to work on post-defense edits over the summer. Summer edits helps avoid a rushed thesis, so I'm thankful to have this opportunity. I'm very excited to touch up something I've written entirely by myself.
After UWyo, I'm going to the University of Chicago to pursue a PhD in paleontology. I'm almost at a lack of words for how incredible (and seemingly unachievable) this opportunity is. I never imagined that I'd be a competitive candidate at such an institution, and I'm a little shocked that I was accepted there. Apparently what I'm doing is working! I start in the fall, and I'm looking forward to not only launching my career with this school, but representing this institution as well. It's quite the honor, and I hope I can adjust to maintain their level of academic performance.
I'll also be attending both SVP and GSA this year! I'm happy to be presenting my final thesis work at SVP and GSA, and I'm eager to meet up with peers and professors from my past.
I'm also happy to be listed on the Skype-a-Scientist program, and am seeking summer opportunities for more outreach experience.
The first few months of fall semester have been quite a ride! Conference season is now over for me, and I'm happy to walk away with many positive encounters and research ideas.
SVP this year took place in Calgary, Canada, in August. It was a blast to visit a different city with all of my lab mates, and to see what new research has developed since last year. I presented a poster on my thesis of Raman spectroscopy on fossil material. I was also fortunate to speak with other professors as a prospective PhD student, since applications will be starting in late fall.
The Bone Diagenesis conference took place this September in Oxford, England. I was fortunate enough to gather funding from the UW geology department to go on this trip. The conference, although small, was beautifully focused on one highly interdisciplinary subject: diagenesis. From this conference, I was able to observe and gather numerous ideas on how to employ or improve Raman spectroscopy. I'm currently working to develop research questions for my potential PhD that are not focused method improvement.
This fall I will be finishing up experiments, crunching data, applying for new programs, and writing my thesis. Hopefully it all goes smoothly.
I'm now one year in to my MS degree, and things have really sped up. Two abstracts of mine were recently accepted at conferences: a poster presentation at SVP in Calgary, and a talk at the Bone Diagenesis conference in Oxford, England! Now to find conference funding...
Additionally, I passed my oral qualifying exam, which means my project is now fully underway. I've shifted my focus from bone flexibility to diagenesis.
My current project is now using Raman spectrometry to study diagenetic signals within the spectra, with a hope that this method can be used as a non-destructive pre-screening tool to measure bone alteration before other analyses are conducted (such as light isotope geochemistry).
During my undergraduate career, one professional publication was made. It can be found online at http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/ece3.2203/full.
My senior thesis, on ichnology of the Jurassic Stump and Curtis formations in Utah, is currently in progress.