At the end of the SDM workshop, I followed Sarah Converse back to the DMV area for a week of less structured work. Her job is based at Patuxent Wildlife Research Center, a USGS research center set on a wildlife refuge near Laurel MD. I think of it as the intellectual epicentre of environmental structured decision making and ecological statistics in the U.S. In addition to catching up with Sarah and musing over facilitation styles, I met with Mike Runge and discussed the institutional structures for and professional challenges of engaging with real environmental decision makers and problems. Jim Nichols also spared me more than an hour to talk monitoring and survey design, a pet topic for both of us.
On Wednesday I took a train up to the University of Maryland, where former CEED ECR traveller Elie Gurarie is now based. His interest in modelling animal movement and encounter rates intersects with Jos Moore‘s and my desire to understand weed search and detection. They’ve been working on new models of alpine willow detection and control, and Elie gave me the latest update. He and I also have an upcoming hawkweed detection project that we’re having fun planning.
Between all these meetings I had some welcome quiet time in the Patuxent library to catch up on my regular work commitments. I think I managed to tick off the most pressing ones before setting off on three weeks holiday….