Friday, August 14, 2015

Hitting the six month mark

It’s hard to believe I’ve hit the halfway point in my fellowship. When I’m staring up at the burned-out fluorescent light above my cube, it seems like I’ve been here forever, and when I'm trying out a new bike route to a meeting at the Commerce Building it seems like I’ve just arrived.

The ceiling above my cube

In any event, I do feel like I’ve accomplished a lot. I am on a cross-bureau team in the Department of Commerce leading a series of workshops with businesses in coastal regions around the country. We are helping companies integrate natural capital values into their planning and operations. This work has taken me to Houston, Cleveland, and New York City, and later this fall I’ll travel to California.
Houston in February > Silver Spring in February

Dr. Holly Bamford, NOAA's Acting Assistant Secretary for Conservation and Management, speaking at the Great Lakes Natural Capital Business Roundtable in Cleveland

The trips have provided some exciting new scenery for triathlon training!

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Training runs in Houston Memorial Park and near the National Conservation Training Center

I’m also happy to have a project that keeps me close to my climate adaptation roots. I am working on a report with a group of NOAA researchers that synthesizes 15 years of risk communication and behavior literature, focusing on extreme weather events. We are helping transition this research to applications like better weather risk education and more effective flood and tornado warnings. In May, I traveled to the National Adaptation Forum in St. Louis to interface with more colleagues who are working on the human impacts side of climate and extreme weather.

Taking a break from the conference to visit the St. Louis Arch

I’ve had a couple of superb professional development opportunities, including science communication training from the University of Maryland Integration and Applications Network (IAN), and a facilitation training led by experts from NOAA’s Office for Coastal Management.

Mouth of the Choptank River at University of Maryland's Horn Point Lab

Finally, I’m enjoying the simple things in life, like participating in scavenger hunts around the NOAA campus, and having my husband and dog (finally) move to Silver Spring.

Scavenger hunt with NOAA's Office of Program Planning and Integration (we had to "take a picture with a turtle")

I have six action-packed months under my belt, and I can’t wait to see what the next six will bring!

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