It started off with the Southeastern Branch meeting of the Entomological Society of America in Greenville, South Carolina. I was there from March 2-5 and heard some great talks and met some very nice people. The University of Arkansas entered a team into The Linnaean Games (it's like Bug Quiz Bowl), and I was the alternate for the team. I cheered them on from the audience, and we made it to the semi-finals before losing in a close round to North Carolina State University. There were no hard feelings though: it was a well-fought contest, and we all went out to dinner afterward. You can see some photos from the meeting on the Entomology Society's Facebook page, and hopefully that album will have some of the candid photos uploaded soon.
I received exciting news while I was in Greenville: my symposium for the national meeting in Portland, Oregon this November was accepted! The symposium is entitled "Reaching Beyond Our Horizon: Social Media & Connecting with the World" and will have speakers from entomology and other disciplines talking about how social media has enhanced their research and their outreach. I had enormous help brainstorming for the symposium from Morgan Jackson, a fellow grad student, and his help was instrumental in getting the symposium accepted. We'll both be moderating the session in November, and we hope to see you there! It will be the best program symposium at the conference!
Yesterday afternoon I received my other piece of good news for the week: I have been awarded a grant from the Ohio Biological Survey's Small Grants Program! This grant will support my millipede field work in Ohio this summer, which I intend to document on this blog and on Twitter, along with other avenues. I'm very excited to have this opportunity and will make OBS proud.
Suffice it to say that this week has been very helpful for my ego. Science communication and millipede research are two of the things I'm most passionate about, and both those interests have been vindicated by professional organizations. I'm going to make sure the symposium and the grant are magnificent investments for both those organizations and sink a lot of hard work into each of them.
I'm excited and honored by both these opportunities, and my passion for science is definitely at an all-time high right now.