I can't believe how long it has been since I have written.
Then again, I can because many times I logged on here and suddenly realized how badly I wanted to log my adventures and couldn't.
There is an overwhelming sense of guilt that takes over when you are a grad student and you desire to do anything outside of school.
So what the heck have I been doing?? I feel I need to clarify for friends and family who are curious.
From 2014-2016 I worked on a Master's Degree in Geography and Environmental Resources. My focus and passion is on Climate Change and that is what my thesis is about along with emphasis on the topic during my undergrad. I walked in the SIU graduation ceremony that year and needed to complete my thesis.
I made the decision to steer my career in the direction of renewable energy in early 2016. I went into climate change because I wanted to understand the science, I was determined to answer the questions for myself rather than read another opinion on the subject.
After 5 years of studying environmental science and climate change, I decided to focus my efforts on renewable energy.
The challenges that climate change brings about are so complex and layered that I hope to continue to learn and possibly summarize research as it comes out.
I'm not sure what my role will be, but I hope to work with either wind or solar energy as a solution. After doing research on the topic, it was no longer a question for me, but my personality desires finding solutions rather than only identifying problems.
I joined Women of Renewable Industries and Sustainable Energy, they awarded me a fellowship for the annual Windpower Conference which was in New Orleans 2016. The conference was wonderful and eye opening.
One of the big things that I walked away with was the need for people who know how to use Geographic Information Systems (GIS).
I went to the conference with wind data in mind, long term climate records and thoughts about what engineers may need. After a few days there I realized that GIS has many applications in renewable energy.
I applied for an internship that included GIS and I did not get it, I believe it was because I didn't have the necessary experience at that time. It had been years since I worked with the program and had focused my energy on coding instead, especially in MATLAB.
After long consideration I decided to pursue the GIS certificate at SIU. It consists of 18 graduate credit hours and a capstone project. Our school has only been offering it for several years and no one has received it yet.
At this time I am scheduled to be the first person to get that certificate from my department.
The course load is very intense and demanding, at times it's out right overwhelming.
In that kind of environment it's very easy to forget what it is that we have actually learned.
When large amounts of material is dumped on you it's easy to lose focus..you are only trying to survive.
Now classes have ended for the spring.
Many of my friends graduated and are moving on and life has taken on a new pace, I like it.
I'm taking my time finishing tasks, reading papers and finishing projects. It's been incredibly refreshing to take my time. So much of the pressure comes from a constant juggling of time. The last few weeks have been like hitting the reset button.
I've had a lot of time to reflect on my decisions and I have no regrets. It has been hard, no doubt.
Once I get caught up with coursework and begin working on my capstone project, I'll finally start feeling some relief. That shall be so very soon!
I want to share an video that gives great examples of how GIS can be used, especially if you've never heard of it or would like to know more.
Penn State did a series of 4 videos called the Geospatial Revolution. I'll link my favorite one and if you want more just go to their youtube page it's awesome! It's just over 14 minutes, you don't have to watch the whole thing, but you should!
Anyway, I have lots of exciting projects brewing. One project that I hope to start soon will combine GIS with breast cancer data, my goal is to locate minority populations that are in need of resources in Spanish. This project may involve some video materials and a book. I'm very excited. When I lived in Chicago I worked for Thousand Waves Spa for Women (Lakeview) for 8 years. We had a program that allowed women who were recovering from cancer to come in and receive free massage. The experience was powerful and now many years later I find myself with this opportunity to offer more.
This issue is very personal for me because I lost my cousin Lady Conde on 4/05/17 to breast cancer. She was only 35.
I feel that I am being called to do something, anything to help women that are going through the journey, especially if they do not speak English.
Some other projects include: making more hoops, teaching more yoga, doing massage at festivals and other events this summer.
I better get back to work! Now that things have changed, the flow is different and I hope I can connect with you all soon.
Seasoned Yogini, Massage Therapist, Dancer, Lover and Animals, the divine feminine and so much more!! This blog contains my musings, stories of challenges, inspiration and the other things that make me human in this realm. NAMASTE