Saturday, April 01, 2006

My first reviewer feedback

Seems like forever since I posted an entry. If anyone is still listening, sorry about that.

 I think I might have signed up for more classes than I should have this semester:
 • Biometry, or how to design experiments so that you avoid really embarrassing mistakes.
• Community Ecology, a graduate seminar where we read esoteric journal articles about abstract concepts like the Neutral Theory, and try to make intellectual sense of them, while avoiding getting snared by the gnarly mathematical models.
• Plant Taxonomy, where I will be expected by the end of the semester to identify any plant in California. During spring break (next week) we're expected to go on a Plant Tax field trip down to the southern California desert. So I'll be putting a thousand miles on my Prius over the next several days and hopefully seeing all kinds of way cool wild flowers and desert plants. I'll be checking for bats in the evenings, of course.

 I finally got a response from BCI on my grant application: another rejection. But this one felt different. It included thoughtful comments from three reviewers, one of whom thought the project sounded interesting: Reviewer 2: At first I was not impressed about the conservation benefits - but then got to think that for the meager amount of money simple surveys could lead to a larger more important impact to the Bay Area and bat education. I am not sure the Golden Gate is quite as likely to house bats like Congress Street, but the impacts of a positive bat experience for the Bay Area will be tremendous and mimic the successes of BCI. This is the weaker part of the project. I am sure with the assistance of Joe S and others she will be fully outfitted and able to collect some meaningful information. I would like to see some collaboration with Berkeley (MVZ) and to plan to deposit vouchers. There should be an historical component to her survey to reconstruct the bat fauna of the area since the days of Emmet Hooper’s monograph. Seems reasonable and she seems qualified - the letters were helpful. Again, the money request is so minimal, this seems like a very likely fundable project that will yield good results. For some reason I found this exciting. Someone read my ideas and thought they were OK! And many thanks to those who wrote my letters of recommendation. I've started work designing my project and hope to get out and start collecting some preliminary data when I'm back from playing botanist. I guess I'll have to snort around and find Emmet Hooper's monograph as well. Back soon with some photos from the desert.


Blogger jacek said...

cool, i'm glad you are still writing and fighting. academic grant process is about rejection or having connections. unlike government grant project that is about connections and acceptance; even if you horribly fail, but that's "ok" ' cause scientific method is not required there (c.f., research on 'star wars'). now, how about a grant for studying whether bats can get bird flu?

10:39 AM  

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