What a fantastic spring this has been! The spring semester at Channel Islands was a great success - lots of student involvement and great peer discussions in all my classes. Grades are now submitted (hurray!) and I've shifted back to manuscript mode.
The hiking trails have been great too. Thanks to a very wet winter the wildflowers have been in full bloom for months, and are just now beginning to fade. We've seen new (ephemeral) waterfalls in the Santa Monica Mountains, again thanks to the rain. Our kids finally believe that Sycamore Creek really does have water flowing in it, at least when we have a wet winter! And, there's a hummingbird nesting in our back yard. This was a delight to discover, such a little nest - it's just about the size of a 50 cent coin.
I've been to a few political marches this spring too, and this has been a great way to connect with like-minded folks. The March for Science in DC was incredibly positive - just so many people who hope that we can keep reason-based policies, and prioritize funding to that end (EPA, NIH, NSF). I also Marched for Climate in Los Angeles, to raise awareness of pipeline expansions in some of LA's less affluent communities. The idea of climate inequality was huge at this event. Echoes of Standing Rock issues! There was also great commentary and insight from Robert Kennedy Jr. who has spent a good amount of time thinking through what it means to deconstruct political systems in favor of corporations (i.e. 'drain the swamp'). If you get a chance to hear him speak, grab it!
The upcoming summer looks like it will be full of writing and submitting manuscripts, and also getting back out to Porter Ranch for more soil sampling and analysis. And barbecues, and a few more marches... :) happy spring!