28 March 2005

In all the papers

One of the spin-offs from my recent Brain Awareness Week talk was that I spent a good chunk of an afternoon talking to a reporter from the local newspaper, The McAllen Monitor. The story from that chat is available here. The final story doesn't quite do justice to a wide-ranging conversation over a couple of hours. I love the composition of the picture they used, but I just wish I didn't look quite so... sombre.

24 March 2005

Bits and pieces

What have I been up to lately?

I've been talking to job candidates a lot. Even though I'm not on the search committee this year, I'm trying to get as much face time with each of the candidates as I possibly can. I think we're three down, and have four to go. Whee!

I'm grinding away on another grant proposal, this one for the Coastal Studies Lab. I've got a few weeks to work on it, luckily, but it requires coordinating information from several people, so that'll make it a bit tricky.

I'm geeking out over the start of the new footy season, even though my first tip for the season was wrong.

But even that pales in comparison to the top-flight geek-out I'm having over the latest teaser trailer for the new Doctor Who series. It's going to be a bit of a struggle not to watch that over and over while I should be working! It makes my heart go pitter patter thumptthumpthumpthumpthump...

18 March 2005

Takin' it to the streets

I gave a public lecture last night as part of Brain Awareness Week. I got a very pleasant surprise; I reckon I had over 100, maybe 150 people there. Most were students looking to earn some extra credit, but hey, I'll take anything I can get. I may try to expand on this and do something a bit more elaborate next year.

16 March 2005

Time to update the resume

One of my papers has now made the transition from "published online" to "published." It's "Mechanisms of behavioral switching" (I didn't pick the American spelling of "behavioural," by the way, the editor did), in Journal of Comparative Physiology A volume 191, number 3, pages 197-199. You can see it here. Accept no substitutes!

In other news, I am now spearheading another grant proposal. This one will be for the National Science Foundation, asking for about $350,000 to help fund improvements to our Coastal Studies Lab out on South Padre Island. Yipes!

We've also started this year's round of job interviews. We're currently trying to fill four tenure track positions, and we had our first visitor -- of seven -- on campus yesterday. One down, six to go.

13 March 2005

End of no lecture week

I can't bring myself to call it a "break" like others. I did get one day of that rare treat: I didn't come into my office at all yesterday. Actually, it wasn't that much of a treat, because I didn't plan ahead for myself and didn't really have much to do and was rather bored and more than a bit depressed. Otherwise, though, I got caught up on some class related stuff and did various odds and ends over the last week. I hope will be able to jump into the fray full throttle tomorrow.

04 March 2005

Taken to TAS

My presentation at the Texas Academy of Science meeting today was well attended and well received. I probably had between 40 and 50 people in for my talk, which is great considering that many other speaker in my afternoon session were probably talking to less than ten people. I rock.

03 March 2005

Almost like being there

A slideshow of my recent "Teaching Technology" presentation is available here. I particularly like slides #6 (I seem to be hitching a lift), #11 ("You can make a lovely shadow of a swan...") and #13 ("Disco inferno!"). Oh, and in classic UTPA style, the forward and backward buttons in the upper right corner are reversed: the "Forward" button sends you back and vice versa.

01 March 2005

Three good things

Apart from the aforementioned loud music emanating from our building's lawn, today was a fairly good day. First, a new graduate course my colleague Anita Davelos Baines and I put together (Evolutionary Theory BIOL 6324) was approved by the university. Once given the rubber stamp by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, we'll probably be able to offer it next year. Second, I gave my Teaching Technology luncheon today, and it all went very well. People were interested and I got good feedback. Third, got the formal acceptance for my latest manuscript. I always love be able to update my curriculum vita and delete "submitted" and replace it with "in press." This is one of the better days I've had in a while. It starts to make up for a rather lackluster weekend.

Next up: My talk for the Texas Academy of Science meeting this Friday. I was tinkering with it this afternoon, and I think it's going fairly well. This is turning into a good week for adding up points for my merit and tenure folders.

Military incursion

The Navy is holding some sort of concert as a recruitment event. They're practicing not too far from our building, and they are loud. Extremely irksome.