A Day in the Fishbowl: A Day in the Life of Postdoc Stephanie

To celebrate Ada Lovelace Day, Anna, Emily, and I each documented what “a day in the life” as women in STEM looked like. Here’s what a typical fancy scientist day looks like:

6 AM - As you will find out, I sit a lot during the day. Therefore, to make sure I get my exercise, I do Tracy Anderson Method 6 days a week – 30 minutes of muscular structure and 30 minutes of cardio dance. I turn the Bose up, blast my favorite shallow pop music, and sweat!
6 AM – As you will find out, I sit a lot during the day. Therefore, to make sure I get my exercise, I do Tracy Anderson Method 6 days a week – 30 minutes of muscular structure and 30 minutes of cardio dance. You can identify Tracy workouts by her ever changing and weird arm and leg movements. I turn the Bose up, blast my favorite shallow pop music, and dance! I cannot tell you how much I love Tracy workouts!
8 AM - After exercise, I get ready for work, which not entails not only beautifying, but also taking care of my dogs and cats. The dogs need to be let out and Pickles is ready to play.
8 AM – After exercise, I get ready for work, which not entails not only beautifying, but also taking care of my dogs and cats. The dogs need to be let out and Pickles is ready to play.
This is where I work, the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences. My “office” is in the building next to the gigantic globe, the Nature Research Center.
9 AM – This is where I work, the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences. My “office” is in the building next to the gigantic globe, the Nature Research Center.
I gloss over my to-do list and briefly check social media and my emails. My most productive times are in the morning, so I use this time to conquer my most challenging tasks. Right now it writing a paper.
I gloss over my to-do list and briefly check social media and my emails. My most productive times are in the morning, so I use this time to conquer my most challenging tasks. Right now it is writing a paper.
The paper I am working on investigates interactions between deer, coyotes, and humans, with eMammal camera trap data. All of the data have been analyzed and now I am writing up what it all means. This requires not only a lot of writing, but also reading the primary literature. I am in the revision stage and making sure I have the correct references to support my statements. This sounds easy, but takes a long time. I want to submit the paper soon to a journal, so I am devoting most of my days this week to get it finished.
The paper I am working on investigates interactions between deer, coyotes, and humans from eMammal camera trap data. All of the data have been analyzed and now I am writing up what it all means. This requires not only a lot of writing, but also reading the primary literature. This sounds easy, but takes a long time. I want to submit the paper soon to a journal, so I am devoting most of my days this week to get it finished.
10 AM - We have a regular lab meetings to update each other on the stages of various projects in our lab. I work inside the Biodiversity lab which has glass walls. Us scientists are on display to the public. This allows everyone to see what a real scientist looks like and the type of work we do. This is essential because a lot of our research is highly collaborative. We also often use this time to discuss papers that we have read together.
10 AM – We have a regular lab meetings to update each other on the stages of various projects. I work inside the Biodiversity lab, which has glass walls. Us scientists are on display to the public. This allows everyone to see what a real scientist looks like and the type of work we do. It also lets me understand how zoo animals feel when people tap on the glass.
On my way to the bathroom, I see that Dr. Patrick Treuthardt, Assistant Director, of the Astronomy Lab is having a discussion with science comedian Brian Malow in the Daily Planet theater. This is a forum for the public to meet real scientists at NCMNS. I listen in for a few minutes as they chat about the science fact and fiction in Gravity and The Martian.
11 AM – On my way to the bathroom, I see that Dr. Patrick Treuthardt, Assistant Director, of the Astronomy Lab, is having an interview with science comedian Brian Malow in the Daily Planet theater. This is a forum for the public to meet real scientists and learn about their research. I listen in for a few minutes as they chat about the science fact and fiction in the movies Gravity and The Martian.
Back to work on my deer paper. Even though, I have been expedition-ing on Mt. Kenya for the past 6 weeks (blog posts to come!), this is much more like what my typical days are like – a lot of computer work. So much of science is analyzing data and writing it up, which all requires computer work. This is my perspective of the Nature Research Center. When people tap on the glass, I know how zoo animals feel…
Back to work on my deer paper. Even though, I have been expedition-ing on Mt. Kenya for the past 6 weeks (blog posts to come!), this is much more what my typical days are like – a lot of computer work! So much of science is analyzing data and writing it up, which all requires work at the computer.
OK time for lunch! I like to eat outside in our “urban garden.” One day, we even found an urban mammal – a city rat. I also like to use this time for social media.
1 PM – OK time for lunch! I like to eat outside in our “urban garden.” One day, I even saw an urban mammal – a city rat! I also like to use this time for social media like Twitter and Instagram.
After lunch I need to catch up on my emails. I received some from teachers that I am working with on eMammal. They train with me over the summer on eMammal research and we co-develop lesson plans that they are using in their classrooms, allowing middle school students to conduct authentic research. I have to create some spots on the eMammal website for them to upload their data to.
After lunch I need to attend to those emails. I received some from teachers that I am working with on eMammal. They train with me over the summer on eMammal research and we co-develop lesson plans that they are now using in their middle school classrooms. This allows students to conduct authentic research that contributes to real science. I have to create some spots on the eMammal website for them to upload their data to! Seeing the photos the kids collect is one of my favorite parts of work.
2 PM - Back to deer…Yep still more to write about those deer! I work on deer until I go home.
2 PM – Back to deer…Yep still more to write about those deer! I work on deer until I go home.
5 PM - Going home! I love that I work in downtown Raleigh, right next to the capital. It's great to get out and take a walk during the day.
5 PM – Going home! I love that I work in downtown Raleigh, right next to the capital. It’s great to get out and take a walk during the day.
After work, I’ve been trying to cut down on TV. So, I decided to finish up the book I’m reading from my favorite TV show.
6 PM – I have dinner and then I do some activity for me. I used to watch a lot of TV, but after Kenya I decided to cut down, so  decided to read some of my book that founded my favorite TV show. Compromise, right?
8 PM - Finally, those pups need a walk! The day’s almost over and I take an evening walk while listening to more music.
8 PM – Finally, those pups need a walk! The day’s almost over and I take an evening walk while listening to more music. By 10-11 PM, I’m in bed!

 

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