Making time for outreach

People often ask me how I find the time to update and maintain this website. The truth is, I make time for outreach in a number of ways.

I am writing this on a wet, rainy Saturday afternoon. I’ve already been out on my bike, and sitting down to write a blog post or two is quite relaxing. Secondly, a lot of the more academic posts on this website support my research or teaching. I am currently doing response time tests using a numerical model on a glacier. Before I started, I delved into the rather substantial literature on glacier response time (it’s a lot more complicated than I first supposed, like so many things). After reading 30 odd papers about glacier response times, there was a lot of information swimming around my head. Writing a webpage about glacier response times helped me to get it all down in a logical order, and meant I, firstly, understood the new information, and secondly, was more likely to remember it.

Secondly, a lot of webpages started life as lectures – and a lot of lectures started life as webpages. The two are complimentary and mutually supportive. A lot of effort goes into writing lectures, finding the right figures to illustrate a point and the right words to drive something home. Translating that into a webpage takes relatively little effort. So in these two ways, writing webpages for the website is supporting both my research and my teaching – and that helps make time for outreach.

Finally, sometimes you just need to make time. And a wet Saturday afternoon is a perfect time to make time for outreach.

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