Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Continuing Thots on the Geoblogosphere

So things are getting underway here at RaaSP central. A new semester brings with it new students, new projects, and new responsibilities. I have been hired as an Assistant Professor at a State University for a tenure-track position teaching earth-sciencey type classes. There is no geology department (I'm it), so I'm stuck with a bunch of physics professors. This is not nearly as dire as it sounds. They're a great bunch of professionals who enjoy teaching as much as research - a good fit for my interests. My wife also works at the same school, so that's also important.

Being an assistant prof requires a whole new slate of obligations. That's also fine, since many of these obligations have me interacting with interesting people who are doing interesting things. It doesn't leave me as much "free" time as I would need to have a "SOOPER BLOG!1!" That's also fine, because I like my job, and I want to stick with it. But trying to associate myself with some of the bigger names and networks of the geoblogosphere might require too much of my attention. The best blogs have near-daily content. I am lucky to have one or two days in a week where I can put something thotful together. That is also fine, because there are many good blogs out there that talk about interesting things.

But there aren't many blogs that talk about all of the things that are interesting to me. There aren't that many blogs that parse information in a way that I would prefer, or with the detail I want. So I will be content in my role as one of these lesser blogs that tosses something into the ether on a somewhat less than regular basis.

I will also be increasing my presence on our University's web presence by placing research/teaching/outreach materials there. I will be continuing my original mission of geo/snail info on this blog and linking to my other "interesting stuff." I'm also removing some of the veil of anonymity that has been this blog's MO for the past five years. I figure that one important leg in a professor's tenure track is outreach, so there will be lots of reaching out. But more so as the voice of a professional and educator, as opposed to some mysterious 17th century mathematician cum programming-language slash unit-of-pressure.

Everything I plan on doing has one primary purpose: my tenure. To get there, I will use teh blog/internets as one arm of my outreach. But as a "professional" academic, there are a few cautions to maintain:

  • Professional Affiliations:
  • I do not, nor will I represent anything but my own personal take and opinions on this blog. It will in no way be meant to represent the positions or opinions of my Department or University. As such, I will probably have to avoid some issues related to academia, while focusing more attention on others.

  • Proprietary Information:
  • Some things that I really want to share with people may have to wait - some things may represent ongoing research that will be published later. Other things may be withheld due to grant funding (I can't very well tell you where to find endangered snails if some of the money that paid for my work came from the NHI). But there are also some ongoing research projects that I will make available as they happen. The mating snail behavior, for example. Blogging is a great way to share "what's new right now." Some of this work may be part of a student project - to keep things fair to the students doing the work, I'll describe active research projects in a way that allows for the students to contribute their thoughts.

  • Copyright:
  • As a result of integrating my employment, some "things" have slightly more complex copyright issues (see also "Proprietary Info"). My "work" done for this blog may have a few extra notes about how the material should be re-used. The Creative Commons has a good system that I will utilize whenever possible.

    I'm sure there are other things that I'll think of that can/will change. For now, this site will provide a link to my University page and professional information. Other things probably don't require any kind of formal description. But, being the web, I'll probably write about some of it - it's somehow satisfying seeing one's thoughts in "print."

My Faculty Page.

My Department.

My University.

1 comment:

  1. Congratulations!
    I hope you will continue working with & blogging about snails.