What began as a year of optimism for the upcoming reduction in the pandemic’s influence has undoubtedly turned out to be a mixed one. My family and I are still hunkered down in DC working remotely while the rest of the country is sending its white-collar workers back in fits and starts. I’ve been doing a ton of reading in lieu of commuting and hope to share my thoughts on what I’ve read soon. During the dip in COVID cases, we took our first flight since early 2020 in June to Denver to meet up with friends for a roadtrip to explore the West. We also got to see my extended family (one member started their own small business this year) for Thanksgiving, whom I hadn’t seen for nearly two years up to that point. I celebrated my second holiday season in DC, but this time with another homebound couple.
Professionally, I finally got tenure and look forward to returning to campus this year. Teaching remotely has been tricky since I don’t get to interact with anyone after class (I train government, non-profit, and private sector employees so they’re almost always on the clock and needed immediately after course completion), but I hope this issue resolves itself once people return to residing at NCTC during their courses.
Sadly, E.O. Wilson and Tom Lovejoy, both giants in the field of conservation, passed away at the end of 2021. You could never outrun their legacy when studying or working in conservation, nor did you want to.