Underwater exhibit

The Wangensteen Historical Library has a new Underwater exhibit that “explores humans, health, and science in watery spaces. Discover what voyagers encountered on the sea and how interactions in and around water have been the harbinger of health and illness across the centuries. Viewers will explore topics from sewage treatment and public health to ocean voyages and pharmaceuticals from the sea. Rare books in the exhibit feature striking images of aquatic natural history, various technologies, and experiences of water and health” (https://hsl.lib.umn.edu/wangensteen/exhibits-and-events/underwater).

Flu shot!

Flu shot week. If you follow the herd at the UMN and get one (free to staff and students) you also get a fun cow sticker and Tootsie Roll Tootsie Pop. Luckily they still had purple left, as its the best one! How many licks does it take to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop answer? Apparently 250+ according to the internet.

10 year anniversary gift

My 10 year anniversary gift from working at the UMN has arrived, as my official anniversary date was August 1. I found it in the library mailing area and I suspect that its been sitting there for 1+ weeks before I hiked up one level to check if it was there. You would have thought that with my limited mobility someone in my department might have brought it down to my office, but I guess not. So the list of items to pick from for 10 years were pretty limited with choices being: a sweatshirt, t-shirt, golf balls, a flag, and some drinking glasses. I picked the sweatshirt.

Boreas Certificate!

For the past few years I have been working towards the Boreas Leadership Certificate. Boreas, which is part of the Institute on the Environment at the University of Minnesota, allows graduate, professional students, and post-doctoral fellow to work towards the certificate, which “offers students the opportunity to delve deeper into the challenging world of leadership and change making. By pursuing the Boreas leadership certificate, students build on the skills and networks developed in Boreas programming and practice leadership through a leadership project. Students completing the requirements receive a printed certificate, are recognized on the Boreas website, and may reference the accomplishment on their resume or CV. Like other Boreas programming, the certificate is offered at no cost” (http://environment.umn.edu/leadership/boreas/).

So I learned today that my certificate went through and that they even posted it to the website (how nice is that!) http://environment.umn.edu/leadership/boreas/certificate/

My Boreas certificate project was “Having Your Voice Heard”

Having your voice heard

It is becoming clear that in today’s society individuals need to be able to communicate and have their voices and opinions heard. Building upon Boreas workshops that I have attended, I decided to examine two ways that individuals are able to have their opinions heard: the more traditional newspaper opinion piece of the ‘Letter to the Editor’ and the new digital audio podcast. For the first part of my project, I sent ‘Letters to the Editor’ to three newspapers – two (national and local) traditional print newspapers and one local online newspaper. Then for the second part of my project, I contacted and met with two local podcasters to discuss how they get their views across in the podcast format. The expected outcome is to become more confident in expressing my opinions in the public arena and to learn about podcasting – a format that allows everyone to have a voice.

Part 1: I wrote three Letters to the Editor
1) Letter to the MinnPost: “In praise of the political podcast.” MinnPost.com (April 18). https://www.minnpost.com/letters/2017/04/praise-political-podcast
2) Letter to the Saint Paul Pioneer Press: “Close Unethical Schools.” Saint Paul Pioneer Press (April 19): 10A http://www.twincities.com/2017/04/19/letter-pedestrians-can-help-their-own-cause/
3) Letter to The New York Times – not published
Part 2: Talking to Two local Podcasters
-1) Stacy Verdick Case, the host of the podcast ‘The Not Boring Book Show’, which is also a MyTalk 107.1 podcast, http://www.podcastone.com/the-not-boring-book-show.
-2) Derek Kosky, the host of podcast ‘Off The Shelf’ https://www.mixcloud.com/derek-kosky/

Boreas Booya

Tonight was the last Boreas Booya of the semester and the topic was “Bridging the Intersections of Environmental and Social Justice” which was facilitated by the Student Advisory Team. Here is the blurb on tonight’s topic: “In this turbulent political time, questions of justice loom large. These questions challenge all of us. In light of them, how do we navigate the personal, professional and political in our work as academics? In this context, what is the role of academia and how is it changing?” (http://environment.umn.edu/leadership/boreas/networking/boreas-booyas/). Great questions about academics changing, but having worked in academics for more than 16 years and seeing the crap that still goes on, its changing at a glacial pace and really won’t change until the current generation of Baby boomers and the older generations retire or die off. Besides these questions we also discussed science and how do you define science. It seemed to me that a few students thought science should be on a pedestal or for those with degrees, which I believe is totally the wrong way to look at science. Science needs to be for the masses if its to survive and thrive. Anyone can do science. So some really interesting topics and a good size crowd (lots of PhD students this time around, including quite a few in political science). Did I mention the good food? Boreas always does a great job with the food for their events. So good topic, good food, good crowd, and unfortunately I was going on a few hours of sleep and could not string a sentence together. Ever have one of those days where you sound like a total dork? Yes, that was me tonight.

Library visiting

I visited Magrath Library today for a meeting and came across some unique library items (plus they also had real newspapers – the StarTrib and the Pioneer Press! How awesome that they are allowed to get the newspaper, as some libraries don’t):

Gardening Kits with seeds

And the lovely Claudette who has seen Beauty and the Beast one too many times. Apparently her outfits change to match the season or the event!

A HathiTrust Thank You

One of the projects I have been working on in the library this year has been with the HathiTrust. The HathiTrust “is a partnership of major research institutions and libraries working to ensure that the cultural record is preserved and accessible long into the future. The mission of HathiTrust is to contribute to research, scholarship, and the common good by collaboratively collecting, organizing, preserving, communicating, and sharing the record of human knowledge” (https://www.hathitrust.org/about). Basically what I have been doing is reviewing UK books and looking to see when the author died and when the book was published to see if the books is out of copyright and can be put into public domain. Its been a very fun project and I have looked at official reports of the sinking of the Titanic, books by Richard Burton, and lots of odd little books. The project is getting ready to end and they sent out a very nice letter of commendation. I am sure everyone got a letter, but its nice to be thanked.

I was even listed on their website as participating (https://www.hathitrust.org/copyright-review):

Thank you HathiTrust