“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

SoTL–What is the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning?

This semester I am enrolled in the second semester of Iowa State’s Preparing Future Faculty Program. This program supplements graduate education with training and mentoring opportunities focused on teaching and learning. It prepares graduate students for future careers as faculty members at institutions of higher education. I’ll post more on PFF itself later, but today I would like to talk about something we recently learned about–SoTL.

What is SoTL?10919000_10204909223988660_48762338856790272_n

SoTL, or the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, extends the realms of research into teaching. SoTL is more than being a good teacher. SoTL integrates the scientific method of research into teaching and learning. Continue reading