Thursday, April 28, 2011

Exploring the earth with kids

I’m the product of a scientist mother. Mum taught me that housework can wait; exploring the world is much more fun. As a mum myself I’ve discovered housework can’t wait but let’s skip ironing in order to bend time and space. Mum was a trailing spouse but managed to carve out a career as a uni tutor, biology teacher and eventually a uni Lecturer in Horticulture. As a little person she took me to Macquarie uni where I loved the big bear and the atmosphere of the tutorial rooms. When I was an independent moody teenager she made herself scarce by lecturing at uni then coming home with stories of plants and science. She taught me that mothering and science can be combined.

Roll forward many years and now I take my three boys to Wollongong Uni. They adore the mineral collection in the Earth Science Department and imagine the Ninja Turtles using the crystals. Hubby and I take the kids on field trips such as Port Macquarie, Tamworth, Tasmania and Adelaide. In the future we plan to travel around Oz with the kids researching and promoting geodiversity. Kids make great scales for photos and useful images for conference presentations. We have learnt that conferences are more fun without the kids so we enjoy the mini all expenses paid holiday and leave them behind. I always miss them desperately and love coming home to their smiley faces.

Isaac and I on a freezing day in Adelaide collecting sediment samples for charcoal analysis. It was a family outing minus two brothers who were in childcare that day. 

The figure label in the journal is very different Figure 2 (A) The exposed profile of Wilson Bog following the erosion event in November 2005 showing the sharp contact between the lower siliciclastic gravels and sands and the upper peat unit.

Buckman S., Brownlie K., Bourman R.P., Murray-Wallace C.V., Morris R.H., Lachlan T.J., Roberts R.G., Arnold L.J and Cann J.H. (2009) Holocene palaeofire records in a high-level, proximal valley-fill (Wilsons Bog), Mount Lofty Ranges, South Australia. The Holocene. 19,7,1-13.

Isaac a few years later pretending to drink contaminated water. The photo was part of the presentation I gave at the Australian Fire Authority Conference.

Morris R., Calliss S. (2009) Does an emergency response protect our water reservoirs? AFAC 2009 Conference Meeting Expectations, 21-24 Sept 2009, Surfers Paradise. 595-600

It is possible to blend a family with science but it’s not easy. I can’t read, think or do statistics when the lion cubs are wrestling in the room next door. (Yes three young boys love to wrestle). Spending time on the PhD is mostly possible when the kids are either in childcare or school. Forget study after they have gone to bed I’m way too tired. My studies are taking longer than anticipated but that’s because I like being involved in school and outer school stuff. I like to go to class reading, help with the canteen and watch the cross country. I’m always researching how to run a happy healthy home with the help of other mummy and granny bloggers. We need all types of contribution to science and mothering. I plan to enjoy the PhD journey and take a little longer so I can raise three more questioning scientist. All Mums are science Mums. Cooking a cake is one of the best chemical experiments around.

This blog is in response to Introducing #scimom

No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...