err … I guess I should rather say “what will be up?” right?

Well, its officially another year and I guess, in order to keep with the theme, I should assess my accomplishments over the past year and then make a list of things I want to do this year so that I can check them off in 365 days.

Except, I don’t really work like that. So, here’s what I’m going to do. I’m going to continue to do my best to be myself, better myself and support my friends and family, and let whatever tasks that means accomplishing evolve on their own.

There. Resolution. DONE.

Charles is much better about keeping current with the blogging!
Here’s his post from our adventure from 15 Aug 2010.
The Full set of photos can be found on my flickr page.


North Fork of the Moormans On August 15, Rachael and I went on a half day hike with the dogs. The plan was to be back in time for lunch, and this sort of worked, in that we ate lunch around 2:00pm. Despite that, it was probably a good thing we didn’t start out too early as it stopped raining not much sooner than when we arrived at the parking lot. The trail was wet, and the rocks slippery, but the weather was really enjoyable (for August). It was still humid, but at least … Read More

via Charles Romero’s Homepage

Hmm … swamped is the best word for how I feel. So, here are the cliffs notes since March:

  • Observed 7 nights at the VATT looking at dwarf Irregular galaxies – it was fun because I got to work with the IR Lab folks to design filter holders for the Wash+D51 filters that I borrowed from a former UVA graduate student. I <3 the lab!
  • Learned a lot from Dark Skies, Bright Kids by leading activities and doing things of general nerditude at a semi-regular basis. Most of all, I love the collaborative aspect of working with all the grads and postdocs doing *fun* activities with the science we love!
  • Formalized the CVGS collaboration and started reworking the curriculum. Never thought I would be working on the classes I took back in high school …
  • Learned how to fly fish – and getting lots of practice! Getting outdoors to hike/fish about 1/week. Not bad!
  • Will be teaching an Introductory Cosmology course in a few weeks. I’m so excited and overwhelmed …
  • The FID has taken off with LOTS of great presentations!
  • Starting to work with the Music Fellows on a Music & Science composition project. We’re starting with Astronomy in order to advertise the program and apply for funding in the Fall. This is beyond my wildest dreams fun to think about. I’ve been paired with a great composer and I’m so excited to see what he will write based on the science project I found!
  • Heading out to Colorado via a long drive … very excited!

*Deep Breath* and back to work!

Its night 4 of the 4 night Ohio State University + Research Corporation observing run at the LBT on 10,000 ft snow covered Mt. Graham.

Tonight we are doing something incredibly hard and fun and … insane. Right now we have the LUCIFER NIR Spectrograph on one 8.4m mirror and the LBC-Red Arm camera on the other. We are actively taking data with the LBC-Red until sunset, then doing NIR Spectroscopy of a Y-dwarf candidate from the WISE mission. Then, we will take LUCIFER off, replace the LBC-Blue Arm camera and finish the observing for the Ohio State University Monitor Project that is trying to understand how large stars die — a project born of the amazing Astro-ph Coffee program at OSU (a program that almost stole me away from my mega Fellowship at UVa).

So … cutting edge science on a world class telescope.

Its total chaos, but its just my style.

Check out my photos from Mt. Graham on Flickr

Back in my first year of graduate school, I had the unique opportunity to blog for the “Next Generation” blog on Discovery Space. Somehow the Internet has brought this back up and its received some press in the UVA News realm.

I re-read the post. I have to admit … for my space limits I did a good job, even if the first half of the article is a bit disjoint. I remember after writing it that I had many remarks about how terrible I made our graduate student lives sound. Its the truth though! To be successful in our graduate careers we have to be expert multi-taskers and to be good at the multiple tasks we take on, we have to give up enormous amounts of time! I’m not complaining, just reminding my advisers etc, that the good work that they like takes time, thought and a decent sleeping schedule to produce – not to mention some stress reduction activity every now and then.

Anyhow, if you are curious, check out my post on the Next Generation

Its been a busy few weeks! Holiday break, more record snow, loooong trip to Mt Graham, starting up Dark Skies Bright Kids at Yancey Elementary, joining Twitter (eep), adopting a new dog, volunteering more at the Habitat Store, learning to sew and developing the Forum for Interdisciplinary Dialogue. Phew. I’ve been more actively blogging for the CMBAA Blog and the Forum Blog than my own.

But I’m alive and well and living in chaos as best as I can :)!
I head off to Tuscon in a week for the NOAO 50th Anniversary Conference and then for another observing run at the LBT. Hopefully atop the mountain, I will find some time to write about my crazy life as an astronomy graduate student!

Katherine and I are officially snowed in! A bit over two feet (!!!!) of snow is piled up at the front door. We stayed in all day — only venturing out to let Jack do his business. Jack had a great time in the snow! His super thick coat kept him warm as he viciously attacked the snow, jumped around and became an impromptu member of our neighborhood’s game of capture the flag — turns out a barking dog is a dead hiding position give away :-)!

Jack Plays in the Snow

Jack, in nearly two feet of snow, destroys a three gallon pot.

I’ve started posting photos of the snopacalypse here . And for a glimpse of why this is the snowpacalypse, check out this photo from the NoisyAstronomer looking toward the intersection of Preston and Madison Ave:

Charlottesvillians flee up Preston Avenue.

Charlottesvillians migrate up Preston Avenue as if fleeing nuclear apocalypse (ala Cormac McCartney's the Road). Photo by the NoisyAstronomer.

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