I've always believed in getting students involved with data collection. If students collect the data, they are attached to it and begin to see the entire scientific process. Data doesn't just appear, real data is collected, often with complex instruments, and processed to remove various problems, corrections, etc. It's not everyday that students get to collect data with a state-of-the-art radar though!
For this entry we're going to try a video format again. Everyone seemed to like the last video entry (Are Rocks like Springs?). Keep the feedback coming! It was a bit windy, but I've done what I can with the audio processing. A big thanks to everyone who let me talk with them! As always, keep updated on what's happening by following me on twitter (@geo_leeman). This week I'll be off to New York to hear Edward Tufte talk about data visualization, so expect updates about that!
In my last post about why I think the expert generalist is crucial in today's highly inter-related world, I mentioned a practice that I've adopted of "Fun Paper Fridays." Today I want to briefly describe fun paper fridays and invite you to participate.
Every friday I go to a coffee shop first thing in the morning and commence my weekly review. During this time I check the status of projects, emails, etc and make sure that things are not slipping through the cracks. Those of you familiar with David Allen's Getting Things Done will recognize this. In addition to reviewing my schedule, I added a self expansion project.
Each week I pick out a paper that isn't directly related to my research and read it. The paper can be serious, just not about my work (ex: Viking Lander 1 and 2 revisited: The characterization and detection of Martian dust devils), or it can be a completely fun topic (ex: How to construct the perfect sandcastle). That's it! Just read a paper, no notes unless you want. You'll be surprised when in some situation you'll recall a fact, method, or comment from one of these papers and be able to apply it to a completely different scenario.
I hope that you'll join me in this quest of broadening your knowledge horizons. If you're not involved with science, that's no problem. Just read something that you normally wouldn't. Maybe it's the Art & Culture section of a newspaper or an Article from a popular science magazine. Every Friday I'll be posting the paper I'm reading on Facebook and Twitter. Please join me and use the tag: #FunPaperFriday.