astro will

short for astronomy william o balmer ;~)

a stressful series of requests to shadowy money brokers

these past two weeks my midterm studying and test taking and essay writing have been interspersed with fairly frantic applications, communications, and aggravation in an attempt to register, plan travel, and secure funding for numerous astronomy related travels (which is why September’s book corner will likely become Septober’s Spooky book corner). This Sunday I’ll depart Amherst for Baltimore and the STScI Inclusive Astronomy conference until my return on Wednesday, so I spent some time wrangling with trying to get my department to advance my plane/hotel before I’m reimbursed by STScI. Frustratingly enough, I haven’t been able to get an advance on my ground travel or meal/per diem expenses, which will have to come out of pocket (not fun when the trip lands in-between paydays).

Then, I registered for the American Astronomical Society (AAS) 235th meeting (which is taking place in Honolulu, HI) and submitted an abstract for the poster session (let me know if you’re interested in reading this and I’ll post it here). Now I have to ask Amherst’s dean really nicely for funding to afford airfare and lodging to attend the meeting in January, and clean up my poster and add to my project to have something interesting to present.

I also applied for the Sigma-Xi research fund for a proposed trip to Las Campanas Observatory (near La Serena, Chile) to observe with my advisor and maybe collect data I could apply to my thesis. I learned about this application about a day before it was due, but luckily I still managed to submit it in time.

I’m really excited about my poster redesign, and I’m happy to be going to my first ever conference in the next week, but I’m pretty scared to be in a completely new city without any money. I think it’ll be a good experience overall, so I’ll keep you updated, take pictures, and maybe write a post-mortem. Until then, have a nice time! <3

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