After the Lecture: What does an Ecologist do with their summer “break”?

That is a good question!  Hopefully this post will provide some insight.Jenise Snyder working with wetland plants in Belize

First though… who am I and what am I going to blog about this summer?  My name is Jenise Snyder and I am a full-time Biology Instructor at Ursuline College.  I have been teaching at Ursuline for 3 years.  I am an Ecologist, specifically a Wetland Ecologist and have been studying tropical and subtropical wetlands for the past 12 years.

As a Ph.D. student in Ecology at the University of California, Davis, I have been investigating how excess nutrients from fertilizers impact naturally low nutrient wetlands in Belize.  Part of my summer travel will actually be to work on writing the final chapters of my dissertation.

The rest of my summer travel is for vacation… well not really.  As an educator, you kind of never take that professor hat off.  So while I am going on vacation to Miami (Florida, not Ohio) and Belize, I know I will be collecting snippets of information, pictures, and  legally collected specimens, that will be used in my future classes.

So what am I planning to do on vacation?  Well first off, go to the beach!  My hometown of Miami has lovely beaches that I plan to visit and soak up the sun.  I will do some eating too.  I love Cuban food namely: café con leche, flan, and some pastelitos (little pastries).  Plus, I am going to visit my family.

In Belize, I am on a surf and turf vacation.  I will start off exploring some Mayan ruins in Central Belize.  Then I will head to the islands for some snorkeling, diving, kayaking, and some serious lounging in a hammock.  I am looking forward to going to my Belize as a tourist and not a researcher for once!

The final and longest leg of my journey will be to Davis, CA, a college town about 25 minutes southwest of Sacramento, and 130 minutes north of San Francisco.  I am renting a home here and will be hanging out with my Ph.D. advisor and lab colleagues.  While I am here, I hope that I can finish writing the last bits of my dissertation, as well as work on some future research projects.  But all work and no play is no fun, so I imagine that a trip or two to Sonoma or Napa Valley to do some wine tasting will probably happen.

So yeah, I think this is going to be a pretty amazing summer.  I hope you enjoy my journey.

My Travel Itinerary

  • 5.23 – 5.27: Miami, FL
  • 5.27 – 5.29: San Ignacio, Belize
  • 5.29 – 6.3: Caye Caulker, Belize
  • 6.3 – 6.4: Miami, FL
  • 6.4 – 8.10?: Davis, CA

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