Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Funding and Field Day

Oh man has it been a busy week.

The meeting with the Syngenta folks went really well.  It's always nice to get an outsider's perspective with these things, and the two guys who came down were full of helpful suggestions and provoking questions.

Also, they agreed that the whole thing was money well spent.  Phew.

Since that meeting last Wednesday, I've also been busy collecting the bee bowls I put out last week, doing some wildflower species-specific pollinator collections, and speaking at the annual Turfgrass Field Day put on by my university's Plant and Soil Science Department.

I love Field Day.  I really, really love Field Day.  I get to speak to a ton of people, most of whom actually want to be there, on a topic I'm wild about.  Several hundred laypeople show up to this event to get their CEUs (Continuing Education Credits) so that they can continue to commercially spray herbicides, pesticides, and fertilizers and run their horticulture/turf based businesses:  nurseries, landscapers, lawn care applicators, etc.  My lab always participates by running one of the "tours" where we talk about current issues in turfgrass management and our own research.  It's refreshing to speak to people who are excited about the practical applications of my research and rarely question my methodology, statistical analysis, or whether I really think the literature supports my leading hypothesis.  Academics.  Whattayagonnado?

And did I mention it's outside?  It's outside.  Field Day is a beautiful thing.

And did I mention they feed us?  They feed us.  They even provided Boca burgers for us vegetarians.  Field Day is a beautiful thing.

Here's my lab, all pumped up and happy to be talking to these folks.  We talked for about one hour collectively, though each individual's presentation varied in length.  I was feeling chatty and excited, so I might have taken a little bit more time than the rest of the group...

I've got to cure myself of this.  I talk with my hands.  I look like a wimpy velociraptor.  

And we were lucky enough to do the tour right in front of my Operation Pollinator plots, so extra publicity for me!

I love how enthusiastically people respond to these presentations.  I did two interviews on the spot--one for, the other for the Plant and Soil Sciences web designer.  I'll link to them if they ever are published.

The whole thing turned out to be totally worth the wicked sunburn I picked up on the backs of my legs.

Though not by much.  Sunburns are the worst.  Especially in the crinkly part of your knees.

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