It's pronounced "ghoti"
Two weekends ago I finally gotten comments from my advisor on Chapter 1, did the revisions, made a few of my own changes, and sent it off to my Personal Editor (also known as my good friend Birdie who is an excellent writer and editor of scientific things and who told me long ago that I could email her all my things whenever I needed to – she is possibly the greatest person ever invented). With that email I essentially (in my view) solidified that chapter. It is just about as done as it’s going to be until the whole dissertation is sent to my committee.
Last week was dedicated to Chapter 2 of the dissertation, which is looking at many of the broad environmental impacts of the flood that reformed my research. It is “broad” both in terms of the number of parameters we measured in the field (percent substrate by classification every 25m, forest stand composition every 50m, eastern hemlock mortality every 50m, instream large woody debris throughout, percent mesohabitat composition throughout, plus temperature, pH, and conductivity) and in the fact that this info is for 24 stream reaches in 10 streams across a watershed/landscape/riverscape in two states on either side of the Delaware River.
It is… extensive. But also intensive. It is all the things, all at once, which really does make it a pain in the ass to analyze in a coherent yet brief way. This is supposed to be a chapter that just describes the greater environmental trends in which the three actual manuscripts are set. I’m not planning on submitting this for publication anywhere, but I feel like it is a necessary part of what I need to do to put my study into context in my own head. And on the far-off, ridiculous chance that someone, someday will find my dissertation interesting enough to read (or at least skim) all on its own, I would like that person to have some context as well.
So I am in the middle of data analysis. One can be in the “middle” of data analysis for something just short of an eternity and not be out of the middle until you put your foot down and simply say: “no more!”
At which point a little nagging question comes up from the periphery and asks, “one moar?” And then I’m back in the middle. The bastard.
I’m about at the point of putting my foot down. I’ve spent way too much time on this part of the analysis already when I still have so much to do for the three manuscript-chapters. So now is the time. I am going to spend this week on the discussion and the conclusion of this chapter. I will clean up my charts and tables, and send it to first of many Personal Reviewers (I have a set order of people I send things to when I finish something). By Friday, come snow, sleet, and dark of night, I will have a whole draft of the chapter.
Then. Then it will be your turn, Genetic Analysis.