It is official! I am a PhD candidate at Western University! I am not going to lie, it has been a long two months of reading, note taking, journal collecting, and diagram tracing to prove I understand the fundamentals of my research. I covered a variety of topics: viscosity of lava flows, surface roughness of lava flows, rheological properties of melt, lunar impact melt flows (figure below), endogenic magmatic processes, synthetic aperture radar, x-ray diffraction, the geology of the Mistastin impact structure, and Apollo samples. I learned a lot, and I plan to put all of this new knowledge to good use.
Impact melt flow off the southern rim of Giordano Bruno crater. Image taken from the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Narrow Angle Camera.
Now that the exam is over I can finally return to data collection. Unfortunately, because of my comps exam I had to delay some analysis. Starting this and next week I will be returning to the electron micro-probe to analyze the chemistry of the melt and clasts of Mistastin and West Clearwater impact melt rocks.
I wish I had more to show you guys at the moment in terms of research. The next blog will have an abundance of information!
I can pass on some advice about studying and research work, most of which came from Dr Catherine Neish herself.
Take care of your well-being when you are studying and conducting research. Working long nights almost everyday does you no benefit. You are stretching the limits of your mind and are not able to perform at your best when you need to. Balancing your life with exercise, extra-curriculum activities (for example I play DnD over the weekends and I can tell you it is a fantastic break from research!), and eating properly. Sometimes you have to work late or over the weekend, that is never a bad thing but you have to remember that your mind and body have limits. There is no benefit constantly pushing yourself over the limit when you never have to in order to prove yourself!
I wanted to pass that on to you guys! I know everyone has probably heard it before but it is always a good reminder :) I can't take credit for the advice, it is what Catherine told me before my comps exam.
I will see you guys soon with new updates on my research and/or interesting papers I come across.