This was a beautiful summer day. And I spent this beautiful day hunched over my laptop in my small writing room at home. I could see through the window over my shoulder blue sky and bright cumulus clouds. The freshness of the day crept through my window screens. I stayed focused and seated indoors. In the next few days, I need to finish a grant proposal to the National Science Foundation to request funds for the Conner Museum of Natural History. As the Interim Director of the Museum, fund-raising is part of my job—despite my desire to be outside enjoying the summer.
The Museum, which holds collections for research, teaching, and public outreach, is stuffed-full. There is no room left in our specimen cabinets for any new collections. Over 16,000 prepared specimens are stored tightly and largely inaccessibly in temporary cabinets. Other specimens are stored in a freezer until funds become available for their curation and cabinets become available for their storage. To help alleviate these problems, we’ll ask the National Science Foundation to fund a project that will allow us to purchase new specimen cases and curate thousands of specimens that await inclusion in the Museum’s collection. And so, I write.
A first draft of the proposal’s fifteen-page body is now complete but riddled still by many question marks where details are needed. The tasks I must accomplish to finish the proposal by Friday race my thoughts, especially when I happen to glance over my shoulder at the blueness of sky.