Catching Up with STS – Meridith Edition

HELLO FRIENDS! It has been a long, tough year since Rachel and I have posted here on Sweet Tea, Science. We’ve tried to keep up with people via Twitter (Mer’s, Rach’s, and the STS accounts) and Instagram (again we all have one!) but we started feeling that blogging itch once more, so we’re back. We wanted to start with updates on our academic and personal lives, because this blog is about the science journeys of two actual living people. We’ve had some highs and lows. Some heart-breaking tragedies and some magical love-filled unions.

Summer 2017

This time last year I was enjoying the perks of summer in Colorado while exploring the in’s and out’s of working in an industry setting. I’ve had many summer adventures/internships/travels, but any work I’ve done has been 100% within the realm of academia. However, via a connection made through my advisor at the big statistics conference (Joint Statistical Meeting or JSM), I landed an internship at an environmental consulting agency. The further along I get in my studies the more certain I am I’d like to explore career options outside of academia; so this was an amazing opportunity.  

I worked with Neptune & Co., a small but growing environmental consulting company focusing on environmental decision making though quality assurance, data science, and risk assessment. As an intern, I helped the other statisticians working on a project modelling the future (millions of years future!) risks and impacts of nuclear waste storage around the US. I loved being able to learn about an important issue from experts in various fields while applying what I’ve been learning over the past few years in my PhD studies.

We focused on the biotic impact portion of the models and worked to use what precious few data are available to create some distributions for variable such as: plant root shape,root depth, burrow depths, etc. All of these factors can potentially bring up buried contaminants if the burrows or roots venture too deep. It’s important to represent these as distributions (e.g. a Normal distribution LINK) rather than a point estimate (e.g. a mean or median) because it allows for more representation of uncertainty in the model.

Also we did lots of hiking and took adorable photos!IMG_7278.jpg Continue reading “Catching Up with STS – Meridith Edition”

Advertisements

Life Update: Where the heck have we been?

IMG_4495

Oh.  Hi there.  It’s us, Meridith and Rachel (this is actually Rachel).  If you follow us on Tumblr, you know we didn’t drop off the face of the Earth.  Life on Earth just got hectic for a moment, and we took an unplanned break from blogging.  When we posted our first long form blog on May 6th, 2014, we had grand schemes of always having a backlog of posts for just these sorts of crazy life situations.  For a good little bit there, we were posting once a week, then that dropped back to bi-weekly.  Even with the slow down, only four of our 17 months of existence have passed without a post.  Not too horrible, really.  The problem actually was that almost all of those four months were contiguous.  But, we’re back!  We are recommitted!  We are hoping to get back to weekly posting, but you can look forward to at least bi-weekly posting for the foreseeable future.

Alright.  We were gone, and now we are back.  But what were we actually up to during this period of radio silence?  I’m so very glad you asked.

STS Blog Update: Shiny and New!

Most obviously, but also most recently, we have been working on transitioning Sweet Tea, Science from a Blogspot to a WordPress format.  Check out this slick new format.  So fancy!  We are also a dotcom now, which is exciting.  We decided to make the switch for a few different reasons.  First, fresh new starts can be motivating.  Like getting a brand new lab notebook or a never-been-touched whit
eboard, sometimes new things just make you want to get to work.  That’s the hope, anyhow.  Also, nearly all the other science blogs we follow are WordPress blogs, and we felt like we might be missing out on a layer of interaction that the platform allows, such as being able to like and comment while providing a direct link back to our own blog.  Last, Meridith suggested it, and I tend to defer to her in all things technological.  So, here we are.    

Continue reading “Life Update: Where the heck have we been?”