Time to fly

Graduation Day at TAMU-CC
Graduation Day at TAMU-CC

I expected an obstacle course on Commencement Day, just one more hurdle to clear, but the book length manuscript was delivered, and the defense was over, so I was hooded by Dr. Tom Shirley, happy the PhD was complete. My little girls were not so happy. They thought I had joined a cult, that the cap and gown were permanent, and might never come off. Notice the concerned looks in the photos below.

Working as a doctoral student in marine science was my best job ever. Research was inspiring. Harte Research Institute was stimulating. My advisor was the best. The work was challenging, exciting. I would stick around, ya’know, investigate phenomena, but I’ve managed to skip the post-doc. My country calls me to serve.

The new job is incompatible with blogging, so now, after four years before the mast at Deep Sea News … its time for me to fly.

Next month I take a position with JHT, Inc. working in support a deep-sea coral research program at NOAA’s Center for Coastal Environmental Health and Biomolecular Research in Charleston, SC. It will be nice to live somewhere you can drive ten hours and be in another state. This holds great appeal for me after three years in Texas.

The new position will be engaged with helping to develop a federal deep-sea coral research program. It’s a long term research opportunity with a deep-sea aquaria component. Stop by to see Lophelia alive and up-close, if you’re in town. Maybe we’ll get some giant isopods in there…

It feels like an exciting time in government. Leadership is strong. Science is appreciated. Deep-coral awareness is high. I really look forward to working for the public good.

Between then and now I will join the Lophelia II 2009 crew aboard the RV Ron Brown. From mid-August to mid-September we’ll be looking for coral on hard bottoms, shipwrecks, and oil rigs with WHOI’s Jason ROV in the Gulf of Mexico. You can follow the cruise at NOAA’s OceanExplorer Website and get the inside scoop at Global Ocean Exploration.

If you miss me, you can always  read the backgrounder on Reconnaissance for the expedition. LOL. (It goes live Tuesday). Please, definitely check out the new videos. They’re free to download! NOAA’s like NASA in that way, … always sharing the science.

Thank you everybody for a great time here. It was an adventure to remember. I really enjoyed it. Profoundly abyssal thanks are due to DSN visionaries Craig McClain and Kevin Zelnio. Readers are in very good hands.  Best wishes to you all.

Clara, me, Ana, my advisor Tom Shirley, my wife Maria
Clara, me, Ana, my advisor Tom Shirley, my wife Maria
Clara does not like the cap and gown. She thinks its permanent, like Harry Potter.
I'm happy, but Clara's not. She thinks I joined a cult.

10 Replies to “Time to fly”

  1. Congratulations! On both the Ph.D. and the new job! We’ll miss your posts around here, but the new job sounds like a great opportunity for you. And no post-doc!

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  3. Congratulations, Peter!!! You will indeed be missed so thank you for all the contributions you’ve made throughout the ocean blogosphere and getting that Zelnio boy to some semblance of legitimacy.

    btw, Charleston is an absolutely glorious place. You and the family will absolutely love living there. The Pharmboy Phamily wishes you all the best.

  4. Dr. Etnoyer in the house! A big Beagle Project congratulations to you, especially on the skipping the post-doc part! That’s a big deal, and it deserves extra special mention.

    Just curious: though blogging isn’t compatible with your new job, do you have any idea whether your blogging activities helped you get that job in the first place? Perhaps by raising your scientific profile? Or by showing your commitment to public engagement?

  5. Thank you everybody for your kind remarks and encouragement. I’m touched. Your comments and support were among the best parts of writing here. I know they mean a lot to Craig and Kevin, too.

    I kinda doubt blogging helped me get my job, but its a nice sentiment, Karen, thanks. The blog aspect may have helped move things along, though. DSN has fans in high places! LOL.

    The deep-coral research job is what I do, so its a good fit. NOAA is not averse to blogging, its just that the posts would require approval, so the procedural aspect removes the sense of immediacy that makes blogging fun and easy. But I suppose I could use a pseudonym …

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