A lots gone on in the last little while. I've got a new research assistant, a graduate student named Sandra who I've worked with as an undergraduate. She's decided to complete a Masters degree. I'm very pleased I was able to find her some cash as my research assistant to get her started.
That's if the university decides to pay her like they're supposed to, that is. My HHMI undergraduate student, Michael, informed me last week that none of the students in that program have been paid since December. Wha—? It's not like there's no money, it's over a million dollar grant. But a big chunk of the institution doesn't seem to care if we treat what are ostensibly our best and brightest students like rubbish. I wrote an email to our university president today informing her of this situation. Don't know if it'll do any good, but at least I can say I tried.
Still, a day at the beach might relieve some of the stress. I was able to do that last week, when Sandra and I went out to collect mud shrimp on the beach at South Padre Island. It went well; god day, low tide, animals coming up quite easily. We're planning on making another run out this Tuesday, only this time, the whole lab (Sandra and Michael and incoming HHMI student Veronica) will be heading out for an afternoon trip to our Coastal Studies Lab to collect and plot and plan.
Of course, I still have other irons in the fire. As new graduate program coordinator, I'm meeting with our dean to talk about the state of the program. I've spend the last couple of days chewing through some data so I'll be able to convince him of a few things (I hope). No shortage of things to fix in our graduate program.