Aside from the overall effort to take stock and make new goals (actually, that reminds me of Adaptive Management, now that I think of it...), I do have some larger goals to work towards in the next year. Apparently sharing a New Year's Resolution makes one less likely to achieve said Resolution, but I'm not sure if it works this way for goals. So here they are:
Go big or go home, eh? I'll be at the end of my fourth year in December 2013, and I'd like to be finished before then. Now that I've got all my data in hand, some preliminary analyses under my belt, and sufficient coding skills and statistical knowledge, I can move forward with final analyses. I'll be continuing my practice of writing at least one hour per day (potentially increasing as I complete more analyses). That, in combination with my R/Knitr/Markdown habits, should make the analysis-to-MS process relatively quick.
Submit MSs from Thesis
Directly following from Goal #1, I plan to submit MSs as soon as they are complete. Since I'll be completing one at a time, this means I'll submit one as I continue to work on analyses for the next. Assuming my thesis will be 3-4 chapters, I can submit at least two before I complete the final thesis. I hope to have the first MS submitted in February.
Ages ago, I started a report on the dataset I use for my analyses: the Waterfowl Breeding Population and Habitat (BPOP) Survey. I originally intended to cover everything a secondary user (like me!) might need to know, but I since learned that the USFWS is undergoing their own project to update the Standard Operating Procedures, which will provide more (and more accurate) details than I can. That said, I don't know when the new SOP will be available, and I believe that some summary of the database would be useful for newcomers to the database (i.e. me from 3 years ago), so I'm producing a reduced version of my report. I spent most of AcWriMo revising what I'd previously written, and now I just need to update and run my scripts to produce the figures. I'm going to work on this once I've finished the analyses for my first MS.
Look for Post-PhD Opportunities
I'm not sure what's out there, so I need to take stock of what my options are once I complete this PhD. I'll be starting to look around in February.
- Submit the report I'm currently working on (due Jan 4)
- Present poster and talk at Ecology and Conservation of North American Waterfowl (Jan 27-31)
Links and Further Reading
- A different approach to new year's PhD resolutions (Three Month Thesis Blog): Suggests revisiting one's resolutions/goals in shorter intervals to increase effectiveness and likelihood of success (from PhD2Published Daily)
- Don’t Talk About Your New Year’s Resolutions (Culturing Science): Why publicizing resolutions reduces the chance that you'll achieve them (Tweeted by @BoraZ)
- This Year’s Best Tips For Young And Early-Career Science Writers (SA Incubator): Links and summaries of the tips receiving the most traffic on this blog in 2012
- All I Really Need to Know I Learned ... in Graduate School? (The Chronicle of Higher Education): Review of highly transferable skills obtained from completing a PhD
- A Call for Scholarly Markdown (Gobbledygook): Much discussion in the comments on what Markdown needs to be fully sufficient for publishing
- The Top 10 Most Memorable Lessons And Things I Learned In Grad School (The Grad Student Way): Long, self-reflective post that contains many tips and hidden motivational messages
- An Angle Of Attack On Writer’s Block (Warren Ellis dot com): Suggests that the best angle of attack is to just keep writing. I particularly liked the bit about typing "out passages from [your] favourite writers, to get a feeling of what it’s like to make sentences like that". I wonder if that could help improve one's writing as well.