Even before crossing the wide flat plains of the mid-west and arriving in Oklahoma, it was like I was being prepared for this journey. I started seeing Oklahoma references everywhere: License Plates of cars, being introduced to Native American customs and culture at the SACNAS meeting. My final days at University of Missouri-St. Louis I coincidentally came across ths book:
My moving truck had Oklahoma plates. Plus, every time I tell anyone I'll be doing field work in Tanzania, Africa, they tell me they have a connection to the country. I mean if that isn't a sign from the Universe, then I don't know what is!
So, here I am in the Red Lands - which is what Oklahoma translates into. But here at Oklahoma State University in Stillwater, it obviously means Orange Country. Today was the first day of spring classes, and my first official day on campus, and I have been overwhelmed by the sea of orange. I've never known fandom like this. I love the color orange, but I'm use to be being only person wearing it obnoxiously. Sheesh!
Today, I focused on getting my bearings. Settling into my new apartment home, my new office space and learning my way around campus and town. It's not a bad little town; however, it really challenges my ability to be The Urban Scientist. This is the least urban place I have lived in a very long time.
A postdoctoral scholar ("postdoc") is an individual holding a doctoral degree who is engaged in a temporary period of mentored research and/or scholarly training for the purpose of acquiring the professional skills needed to pursue a career path of his or her choosing.
After graduate school - Masters and/or Ph.D. - then there's this, and I'm super excited about this step. I'll be doing my rodent wrangling magic with a slightly bigger beast...The African Giant Pouched Rat.
Photo by B. Kensinger (Oklahoma State University)
But, the lab I'm in also studies voles, so I can get my Microtus fix anytime.
Stay tuned, loves!
The views expressed are those of the author(s) and are not necessarily those of Scientific American.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR(S)
DNLee is a biologist and she studies animal behavior, mammalogy, and ecology . She uses social media, informal experiential science experiences, and draws from hip hop culture to share science with general audiences, particularly under-served groups.