“Beware the Couch”, The Thesis Whisperer talks academic reading

Check out this post by The Thesis Whisperer! In it, Dr. Robyn Mayes writes about the value and hard work of reading journal articles!

“Beware the couch! Reflections on academic reading”

I find it very easy sometimes to discount how much brain power and energy reading papers takes. I feel guilty sometimes when reading because it’s not the ‘real work’ I need to be doing, or it’s ‘just reading’. However, this mindset can be really harmful to the academic process because reading journal papers is a fundamental part of becoming (and remaining) an expert in any field. It’s how we gain knowledge and learn about new ideas and perspectives. How we find inspiration and learn about things to avoid. It’s even a form of networking as you learn the research interests and specialties of the big names in your fields, and discover people to seek out at conferences. Reading journal papers is valuable, exhausting, and important work that needs to be done regularly, and with purpose.


Restoring the natural water cycle in cities: My research

As I mentioned in my About Me page, I am a doctoral student at Iowa State University. I study urban hydrology and geographical information systems, also known as GIS. In this post, I go into a bit more detail about what I actually study, and how I conduct my research. I will go into more detail on many of the topics I talk about here later in expanded topic posts, but for now, here’s a little about my research!


In short, I study the effects of urbanization on the environment, specifically on the natural hydrologic cycle. Now, that’s a very big topic. (Literally, the hydrologic cycle is global. Ha!) Narrowing that huge topic down, I specifically study stormwater in urban residential areas and the things that homeowners (or renters!) can do to help restore a more natural, and sustainable hydrologic cycle. Continue reading

Falling off the wagon… The academic calendar to the rescue!

I fell off the wagon a bit there at the end of the last semester…

Rocky Mountain National Park


I had one big post about Blogging for Productivity at the end of February, and then the end of semester crunch hit. With a few lasts gasps (hey there, Henrietta and hey look! Snow!) I slowly gave up on some of my internally enforced deadlines (case in point—my blog).

SciNatura is really important to me. However, at this point in SciNatura’s existence, I am accountable to no one but myself to post new material. I don’t pretended to have a following eagerly awaiting my next post. I’m still building and defining my blog. With only internally enforced deadlines for blog posts, when everything else on my plate started becoming more and more time consuming, with more and more pressing deadlines, SciNatura got kicked down the road…

Continue reading