This is the complete picture of my cover picture at ONL191. Me trying to get some air in Anza Borrego desert some time March 2018.

Well, it has been a while. Almost 4 years! Guess it has been busy. I am back because of the Open Networked Learning course: ONL191.

How do I know about it? When I visited Sweden last year, my friend Gizeh told me about it. Gizeh and I go way way back, to Cuba and our times at the National Institute of Oncology and Radiobiology in the late 90s. Funnily enough, after many years we have arrived to a similar place of interest: online learning, active learning, innovative STEM practices, use of media for teaching, social media. I am curious to explore the European side of the field, and I signed up for the course. First requirement, you need a blog! So I just connected this one to the course, and now am feverishly writing an update.

Last time I blogged (October 2015) I had just lost a sampling system in my ocean plastic set and was slightly deflated. In December I broke my ankle walking on a wide and mellow trail in the Mojave road, which set me back a couple of months, but then got back to action. Plastic research, education research, and some cool service activities.

Highlights of the past years include becoming a member of the ASBMB Public Outreach Committee (recently renamed Science Outreach & Communication) and as such getting more involved in outreach activities; a paper published in CBE Life Science Education about flipping a majors general biology course, and the best of it all, getting a NSF STEM education grant for the plastic project in collaboration with Jeff Bowman from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography. The grant (from application to the first months in action) has a pretty steep learning curve. But we are finally doing what we wanted originally…have students participate in authentic and fun research as part of their coursework.

Last Saturday morning, a group of students visit SIO pier to learn about ocean research.

And this is it for now. I am really glad that ONL191 has pushed me back to blogging. Onward and onward!