Feb 1, 2009

No More Waffling

Ok, I'm in. I believe the hype: my conservation program is a door opening opportunity to do good shit for our planet. It's a done deal. I might even pay my fees sometime soon. (Having a seriously hard time signing the debt check.) I'm going to stop stalling on my coursework and just get through the boring bits.

Why am I suddenly feeling decisive? Well, I started pursuing my summer dissertation and have had a bunch of positive responses to my queries. I've started to see the light at the end of the academic tunnel and it's arid sunshine waiting to warm and test me. I'm not sure if I'm climbing out in SF or the Sonoran Desert, but I like the prospects of either.

I'm looking at several projects, leaning toward something with GIS and weed mapping. I like studying invasives, gets out my anti-colonialist aggression. I will not be doing anything with park use. It's been about 6 months since I wrapped up 2+ years of park use research and outreach. I'm spent on that. But knowing that the agency I worked for will take me back for more work is amazingly heartening and distractingly comforting. I'm broke as fuck. Going back to SF is probably my best financial bet. I could regroup my dog walking business and do my research and have a home to live in and a community to organize with. Oh SF, I do love you. Sorry for calling you a toxic womb. (but you kind of are)

If an opportunity in Arizona manifests, I'll likely go there to diversify my experience. It seems silly since my dream job is really with the SF Natural Areas Program. And I think my financial prospects are poor in Arizona. (If you'd like to help me absorb this financial hit for team earth, be in touch!) Can I bike for field work in the Sonoran summer sun? Maybe not, but I really do want to work near the border. I have a ridiculous affection for desert plants. Or maybe I'm just obsessed with them at the moment because it's snowing here and I'd rather be in Arizona. There are some amazing projects running with USGS that I'd lalala-love to be a part of. Phenology and invasive mapping and GAP analysis and predicitive modeling and cat scat collection and fire's effect on invasive grasses and dogs sniffing out endangered desert tortoises.

We'll see. The point here is that I'm sticking with the master's course. That I've discovered a new delima for fickle pondering should surprise no one. A perpetuation of my state of confusion seems a natural extension of this process. But a friend told me last week that I'd be happier if I made a choice about staying or going. He was right. And I do.

And I feel great about deciding to go West. I'm over the consideration of New Orleans wetlands and Atlanta parks. My immediate future is in the West. Somewhere between 105 and 125 degrees West and say 25 to 42 degrees north, with my two ideal spots being 37N, 122W or 31.7N, 109.9W. If you've never enjoyed the USGS Global Visualization Viewer, do check it out.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Rachel, how about putting up a Paypal "donate" link on your blog for the duration of your degree program? Your blog has been really inspirational to people!