August 19, 2021 by Dr. G
This blog has been very quiet this past year, in terms of my professional/travel activities. For the academic year 2020-2021, I was on my second sabbatical from teaching and had the opportunity to devote my time to research activities. But the COVID-19 pandemic changed my original plans – plans that are still struggling to get back on track.
My first sabbatical was during the 2013-2014 academic year. I wrote a blog post at the beginning of my sabbatical, and again at the end. Even back then, there were so many “best laid plans” that were disrupted – but for different reasons.
Although there were so many challenges to face during the sabbatical year, I’m proud of what I was able to accomplish. I stayed on sabbatical for the year, waiting to hear about two ocean expeditions and their updated sailing dates (which, unfortunately, still have not happened). I volunteered to do more service at my university and at the national level, from work with the American Geophysical Union to the Unlearning Racism in Geoscience (URGE) program [my post on my URGE experience]. With all conferences taking place online, I was able to participate in new conferences and workshops that I would not have had the opportunity to do in-person.
And then there’s the quilting… which I have posted about (almost) each and every one on this blog. This sabbatical, I was able to complete my Stiching Hope for the Louisiana Coast collection and generate a new collection of mini-quilts on Project Drawdown Solutions to Global Warming (the posts also have videos of the quilts). These quilts that have been a part of my community outreach with Front Door Science and have been fun to share. The quilting has allowed me to connect with a new community of people, and I’m co-organizing the Quilt Your Science event taking place in conjunction with the 2021 American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting (in December, New Orleans, LA).
So what happens next? Now comes the incredible challenge of balancing teaching with field expeditions with continuing pandemic conditions. It is alot to wrap my head around. But being surrounded by supportive communities and individuals helps me then provide support to others, whether it be in my neighborhood or with students at my institution or for colleagues across the world. I hope I can return to posting more about research and other areas of my professional life, which is the purpose of this blog to begin with (my last academic conference was the Ocean Sciences Meeting in San Diego, CA, in February 2020 (blog posts here and here)). But yes, there will be more science-themed, quilts coming as well….