I am a post-doc looking at phosphorus (P) management and thus food systems, urban ecosystems, biogeochemistry and tackling with the hard issue of choosing and applying appropriate methods when studying socio-ecological systems. When you study humans and nature together, you often dabble in the quantitative and the qualitative, and methods always seem to involve some degree of multi-disciplinarily.
The main objective has morphed over the years, and is now a way to document my journey in trying to become a better science communicator both through “traditional” means (aka writing papers, and doing a few media appearances) and “alternative” means (aka art-science collaboration, especially dance), as well as serve a a way to track the ups and downs of transitioning from student to “non-student” in a inter- and even trans-disciplinary field. I try to link to helpful and interesting articles as they come along, as well as my thoughts on my work and science communication progress.
I started this blog during my PhD as a way to document and share the “behind the scenes” of going from the questions and methods in a research proposal to the actual methods and results described in a peer-reviewed publication. Even with lots of supplementary material and a wonderfully written methods section, articles usually only report what end-up working, not the trials and errors that occurred to get to the selected method. In reality, there was a whole process to getting to that method and I think some of those steps can be really helpful to document and share.
I was inspired by africasoils website. I was looking-up how to use a Tablet for data collection and if anyone had tried it in the African context. When I stumbled upon their work, and was able to follow their rational for choosing each tool I felt much more capable of making an informed decision about my own methods. I want to document my experiences through this blog to help others in a similar way.
The objectives of the blog when I started it were to:
1. Share a detailed account of choosing and implementing methods to answer research questions about sustainable phosphorus management in urban ecosystems.
2. Allow my advisor and collaborators (without spamming their inboxes with status updates) to follow my progress while in the field.
It is more “free form” now and I post as new material comes to mind.