Friday, March 20, 2015

On Being: Stepping Stones of Integrating Emotions into Practicing Science

I could not be more thrilled to be a guest contributor at On Being. For those that don't already know it, it's a platform that explores the questions "what does it mean to be human, and how do we want to live?" hosted by the incomparable Krista Tippett. I love the blog and the podcast, and am so so so honored to be in the company of contributors like Parker Palmer and Courtney Martin.

You can read the full post -- "Stepping Stones of Integrating Emotions into Practicing Science" -- and dig around for some other inspiring content (like podcasts with Mary OliverJoanna Macy, John LewisRachel Naomi Remen, and Seth Godin - so many good ones!) at their website. I have so much gratitude for the work they do.

Related posts:

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Drought anxiety

"California has about one year of water left. Will you ration now?" This was the *slightly* provocative title of an LA Times op-ed written by Jay Famiglietti, a UC Irvine hydrologist currently at NASA's Jet Propulsion Lab. He has since said that the title was not accurate, asking that people read the article itself.* Unfortunately, judging from a lot of my conversations, it was hard for many to read past the fold.

Today, Mark Morford of the San Francisco Chronicle wrote a pretty irreverent (as is his style -- big fan) article on what he is calling "California Water Anxiety Syndrome:"
that sinking feeling to trump all sinking feelings, that sour knot in the pit of the collective stomach, unnerving and strange and, let’s just admit, unutterably depressing.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

The Art and Science of Waiting (for rain and other uncertain things)

One of the most depressing hikes I've taken. Photo by me.
California rancher Dan Macon knows firsthand that waiting can be an excruciating experience. As a small-scale sheep rancher in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountains, he has spent a lot of time waiting for rain during the state’s ongoing drought. Macon’s livelihood is tied to the land and particularly to water: a vital ingredient in creating the unique grasslands his animals depend on. Good-natured and thoughtful, he waits for rain and tries to get through with, as he puts it, a mix of “humor and commiseration.”

Kate Sweeny, an associate professor of psychology at University of California, Riverside, studies the kind of waiting that Macon is faced with—that is, waiting for uncertain news. As Sweeny writes, waiting for things that we can generally depend on like getting a table a restaurant is vastly different from waiting for uncertain and unchangeable news such as a medical diagnosis.