9AM – Science-A-Thon

A little about me: I am studying in the Earth Science department under the tutelage of Dr. John Cottle. My current research is aimed at understanding the processes behind subduction of the Pacific plate beneath the East Antarctic craton approximately 500 million years ago. Similar to modern subduction along the coast of South America creating the Andes Mountains, subduction in Antarctica led to emplacement of igneous plutonic bodies that make up the Transantarctic Mountains exposed today. The paleo-Pacific margin was very extensive and long-lived. I am helping further define the tectonic history along that margin by researching how the timing and geometry of subduction changed along the margin through time.


Please join me in championing this cause to help support future generations of scientists by donating at my campaign page: https://www.crowdrise.com/o/en/campaign/science-a-thon-2018/elizabetherickson11/ You can also follow my “Day of Science” on Instagram @schemerthedreamer


#dayofscience #scientistforaday #scienceathon

#womenleadSTEM #womenwhoscience #womenofscience #500WS #distractinglysexy

#scientists #science #geology #earthscience

#schemerthedreamer #lifeinmotion

#scientistsarenormalhumans #thisiswhatIdoasascientist #youmightliketoknow

@science_a_thon #ESWN @500womensci @elementargroup @promega @transnetyx @johnsoncontrols @ncfdd @rochesequencing @ametsoc @madisoncommfdn @alliantenergy

8AM – Science-A-Thon

I try to start work early, while the building is still quiet and I have the office to myself. I typically use this time to check emails, make an agenda for the day, and check off what I accomplished the previous day on my master “To Do” list. Pro Tip: Last year I started keeping a paper calendar to log the hours I work each day and what I accomplish each day. I find it extremely useful to see how much time I spend on activities like clerical work, course work, research, etc. Being able to break the cycle of spending all my time answering emails and doing side tasks for others has dramatically focused my work life. My work ethic has become more focused and efficient, and the calendar has become an important tool for quickly remembering when I worked on something last. It also helps keep me honest about doing work at work, and better separating my personal life from work life. Grad school is a constant balancing act of maintaining a healthy work-life balance, and keeping a work log has really helped me get more out of both spheres of life.


Please join me in championing this cause to help support future generations of scientists by donating at my campaign page: https://www.crowdrise.com/o/en/campaign/science-a-thon-2018/elizabetherickson11/ You can also follow my “Day of Science” on Instagram @schemerthedreamer


#dayofscience #scientistforaday #scienceathon

#womenleadSTEM #womenwhoscience #womenofscience #500WS #distractinglysexy

#scientists #science #geology #earthscience

#schemerthedreamer #lifeinmotion

#scientistsarenormalhumans #thisiswhatIdoasascientist #youmightliketoknow

@science_a_thon #ESWN @500womensci @elementargroup @promega @transnetyx @johnsoncontrols @ncfdd @rochesequencing @ametsoc @madisoncommfdn @alliantenergy

7AM – Science-A-Thon

Sometimes I dog-sit for one of the Earth Science professors, Roberta Rudnick. I love waking up to a beautiful sunrise looking over Santa Barbara from the Santa Ynez foothills before taking Murphy on a quick 3 mile run along Mission Canyon. Murphy has a LOT of energy, so I try to tire him out early in the day.


Please join me in championing this cause to help support future generations of scientists by donating at my campaign page: https://www.crowdrise.com/o/en/campaign/science-a-thon-2018/elizabetherickson11/ You can also follow my “Day of Science” on Instagram @schemerthedreamer


#dayofscience #scientistforaday #scienceathon

#womenleadSTEM #womenwhoscience #womenofscience #500WS #distractinglysexy

#scientists #science #geology #earthscience

#schemerthedreamer #lifeinmotion

#scientistsarenormalhumans #thisiswhatIdoasascientist #youmightliketoknow

@science_a_thon #ESWN @500womensci @elementargroup @promega @transnetyx @johnsoncontrols @ncfdd @rochesequencing @ametsoc @madisoncommfdn @alliantenergy

Science-A-Thon welcome!

Hello! Today I am participating in a science outreach event call Science-A-Thon. Science-A-Thon is a social media event to showcase the many different people and activities involved in science, as well as the largest annual fundraiser for the Earth Science Women’s Network (ESWN; link: https://eswnonline.org), an international organization supporting women in science. This year’s goal is to raise $75,000 for ESWN. Please join me in championing this cause to help support future generations of scientists by donating at my campaign page: https://www.crowdrise.com/o/en/campaign/science-a-thon-2018/elizabetherickson11/ You can also follow my “Day of Science” on Instagram @schemerthedreamer, on my blog (https://elizabeth-erickson.com/blog), and on Facebook. You can also follow the official Twitter feed @science_a_thon. Thank you for your support!


#dayofscience #scientistforaday #scienceathon

#womenleadSTEM #womenwhoscience #womenofscience #500WS #distractinglysexy

#scientists #science #geology #earthscience

#schemerthedreamer #lifeinmotion

#scientistsarenormalhumans #thisiswhatIdoasascientist #youmightliketoknow

@science_a_thon #ESWN @500womensci @elementargroup @promega @transnetyx @johnsoncontrols @ncfdd @rochesequencing @ametsoc @madisoncommfdn @alliantenergy

My Science-A-Thon Day of Science is October 18!

I wanted to let you know about a science outreach event I am participating in called Science-A-Thon (link). Science-A-Thon is a social media event to showcase the many different people and activities involved in science, and it is the largest annual fundraiser for the Earth Science Women’s Network (ESWN; link: https://eswnonline.org). ESWN is an international organization supporting women in science, from professional development (link) to combating sexual harassment (link), to programs for college students (link).

Science-A-Thon will showcase what a “day of science” looks like, with participants posting 12 photos over 12 hours during the week of October 15-19, 2018. You can see all the 200+ participating scientists on the official website (link) or by following the official Twitter feed @science_a_thon. Each day has a different theme — Oct 15th: #SciComm; 16th: BioMed; 17th: SciPolicy; Thursday the 18th: Earth (this is my day!); 19th: “Rewind.”

As mentioned, Science-A-Thon is the largest fundraising event for ESWN. This year’s goal is to raise $75,000. Even super-stars like the president of the National Academy of Sciences, Dr. Marcia McNutt, will be joining the effort. So, it’s pretty exciting! My goal is to raise $500 toward this campaign. Please join me in championing this cause to help support future generations on scientists. Your contributions really make a difference! My Campaign Page: https://www.crowdrise.com/o/en/campaign/science-a-thon-2018/elizabetherickson11

You can also follow my “Day of Science” on October 18 on Instagram @SchemertheDreamer, on my blog (https://elizabeth-erickson.com/blog), and on Facebook under Elizabeth Erickson. I will be sharing photos from my day, writing a little about my science and life as a scientist, and posting updates from the campaign.

Join me on October 18, 2018 for this STEM-wide initiative to empower scientists, promote scientists as role models, and build on-ramps for students to engage in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics)!

campaign image

Tahoe Rim Trail: Day Six

Day Six – 20 July 2018 – Friday

Marlette Peak Campground (8228ft; mile 54) to Kingsbury North TH (7769ft; mile 76)

21.6 miles today of 183.4 miles total

3,218ft gain

My final day. Longer miles than anticipated. But I so look forward to that post trail meal.

While hiking I met this great team of guys. All 65+ year olds out thru hiking. There were four in total. Three PCT alums and one thru novice. They are part of a larger group of military friends who come together every year for a trip together. This year they spent a couple weeks doing trail maintenance before these few came over to the TRT for a bonus finale to their friend reunion. When I caught up to the first guy, he said he was behind the group because he had gone off trail at Spooner Summit to get water down at Spooner Lake. These guys are total badasses. Each one has had a lifetime of experience and story. When I first got on trail, I bought a 3 gallon water job thinking I might leave myself a water cache. But then I ended up starting within the dry section so didn’t need it. The point of detailing it now is that these guys were pretty worried about being in the beginning of the dry section and not being able to make big enough miles to reach enough water without each loading up under way too much weight. So I told them I would leave my water for them at the Kingsbury North TH. I never exchanged email, but I truly hope the water helped them get through the section.

I reached my vehicle at about 2PM. I stripped down my stinky hiking clothes, put on fresh clothes for driving, and finally dealt with my poor toe. It was swollen twice its size and extremely red and angry. My poor toe.

Anyway, I drove back to Stateline for victory food and beer. It was incredible timing. As I sat down for food, a torrential downpour broke the sky. I loitered at the restaurant and then took a quick nap in my Escape before hitting the road. I after the rain calmed down, I drove all the way back to Santa Barbara via Highway 395. The trip was mostly in that same downpour. But it was beautiful to watch the roiling clouds. And by the time I reached Mount Whitney, I was blessed with one of those stunning, post-storm sunsets that lit the sky on fire.

In the end, I am happy. The trail was too short, but it recharged my soul. Until next time.

Tahoe Rim Trail: Day Five

Day Five – 19 July 2018 – Thursday

Picnic Rock above Tahoe Vista (7544ft; mile 22) to Marlette Peak Campground (8228ft; mile 54)

33.8 miles today of 161.8 miles total

5,581ft gain

This morning was a dream! The weather was beautiful, views were stunning, the trail was easy moving. I loved it! I felt great. After the onset of tired feet, this morning I felt like a new woman.

On trail I met a nice man named Rich. He was carrying a 30 lbs pack for training hiking in preparation to summit Mount Whitney. He said it had been 20 years since he last summited. I hope his training goes well!

Then I hiked upon a surprise waterfall in Mt Rose Wilderness. While stopped by the cool water in the shade, I met Jean and Betty Friedberg from Boulder, Colorado. They were incredibly nice people. They even invited me to wine whenever I visit the Boulder area next. Betty even shared a freshet towel with me for an impromptu trail shower. They seem like genuinely welcoming people with very interesting lives.

After such a strong morning, the afternoon heat wore me out. I felt like I was riding the struggle bus to an extreme. It felt like I was moving at a snail’s pace. Mt Rose Wilderness was so hot, exposed, and with little water. Because of this, I carried way more water than I should have, which didn’t help with the onset of soreness, tiredness, and crankiness. To top it off, I tripped and kicked a rock really hard with the kind of power that I could feel my big toe nail disconnect from its root. Looking at is tonight, my nail bed is very swollen and red. And somehow I lost my safety pins this morning packing up. I had two pinned against my hip belt pocket this whole time. So now I cannot even drain the blood blister fluid. I have a pocket knife, but it seems too coarse for the job. Plus it hurt really bad just to press on the skin even with my fingers.

Anyway, I will longer miles tomorrow than I wanted. I didn’t plan much food for my last day. I hope to get a super early start and make most the distance before the heat kicks in. Sleep now.

Tahoe Rim Trail: Day Four

Day Four – 18 July 2018 – Wednesday

Tahoe City (6250ft; mile 0) to Picnic Rock above Tahoe Vista (7544ft; mile 22)

23.4 miles today of 128 miles total

4,687ft gain

I decided to take a leisurely morning in Tahoe City. Even on such a short trip, I enjoyed a short day to eat deliciously fresh food. I left town around 11AM. And true to any town hiatus, I lost track of my brain and somehow paused my Strava tracker at lunch time and missed recording some odd miles between my noon lunch and 2pm break. Today was really quiet. Since I am no longer on or near the PCT, I mostly saw only mountain bikers. I chatted with one really interesting mountain biker and eventually saw several friendly day hikers.

Today was also hot! I am presently heading into the scarce water section. I had to dry camp tonight, which is fine, but it always upsets me to haul out from a water source fully loaded down knowing I would probably drink more freely if not conscious of water conservation. The ways of the trail…

I am really stoked on having new snacks! I stocked up in Tahoe City. I am learning that supply as I go is not so bad. Despite being committed to my PhD right now, I am always taking in skills and knowledge for future trails and explorations.

My feet are beginning to feel fatigued. I think they needed the half day break in town as much as I did. Hopefully they will hold out another 60 miles!

Plus, the short day ended me at Picnic Rock. This is a popular viewpoint of the lake. The side trail is only 3 miles roundtrip, but don’t let that fool you. It’s an 830 foot vertical gain on smooth singletrack switchbacks. I caught a stunning sunset at the vista. So worth the added miles! The only downside was my misguided idea that I could stealth camp at the vista. Turns out that Picnic Rock is infested with chipmunks. One particular furry little bugger joined me in a majestic pose to share the beautiful sunset. So I continued on my way a few miles to get away from the food-fiending critters.

Tahoe Rim Trail: Day Three

Day Three – 17 July 2018 – Tuesday

Gilmore Lake (8327ft; mile 133) to Tahoe City (6250ft; mile 0)

40.0 miles today of 104.6 miles total

5,314ft gain

Gilmore Lake was the perfect place to camp last night! Dick’s Pass also would have been amazing, but so happy about my morning. The sunrise over the lake this morning was incredible!

Today I saw a yellow bird with dark stripes and a bright orange head. I am terrible at bird IDs, so if anyone has an idea, please let me know! I met three thru hikers today: Twizzler, who unfortunately lost his phone on the trail somewhere and was in desperate search mode, and his companions, Songbird and Spooky. I also hiked past trail crews today. I always love seeing these generous souls helping improve and tend to the trails, the places I call home.

Today felt great! Big miles and all smiles (taking a page from my trail idol, Smiles and Miles!)! I gained a fifth wind, so to speak, when I discovered I had full service five miles from Tahoe City and there was a cheap room in town. I booked the room and then booked the last five miles. This turned out to be a great plan as I rounded the trail close to town, where I had been planning to stealth camp, to find an obnoxiously loud camp or cabin too close and a mama bear with cub meandering across the trail. I didn’t need another sign to finish hiking into town. Plus, I didn’t pack my bug net for my tarp, and the incessant buzz of mosquitos drives me to an irrational place. They rarely even bite except for my face and feet. Mostly they just buzz around my face and make me crazy.

I hiked exactly 40 miles today. I could not have planned today so perfectly. I hiked into Tahoe City about 8:40PM. Late but very worth it. At the hotel I scrubbed my body like no tomorrow. Unfortunately most of the restaurants are only open until 9PM, so I ended up walking half a mile to find supper at Bridgetender Tavern and Grill. I ate a delicious veggie burrito with chips and salsa. I almost stopped for dessert, but it was already way past hiker midnight. My body sure aches.

Tahoe Rim Trail: Day Two

Day Two – 16 July 2018 – Monday

Big Meadow (7651ft; mile 105.3) to Gilmore Lake (8327ft; mile 133)

29.3 miles today of 64.6 miles total

5,305ft gain

Today felt long. The trail joined the PCT a few miles after hitting the trail and I was overwhelmed with nostalgia and impatience. The TRT and PCT overlap for about 50 miles. I didn’t anticipate how mentally challenging that was going to be for me. I mean this is a beautiful section, and not that many people actually got to hike it my year due to the big fire on trail back at Ebbetts Pass. I only barely made it through the day the fires started in 2015 because of a big 32 plus mile day on the summer solstice, when I had only anticipated a short 22 miles day.

Anyway, recalling memories caused the miles to move slowly by. It felt like I was moving slowly at least. I also stopped a lot and was in a surprisingly chatty mood. I met several TRT people, but none were planning faster miles. I then met a group of PCT SoBo’ers. Technically they were all only doing sections, not the full Canada to Mexico, but I was excited to talk. It felt like catching up with old friends, despite none of us having ever met before. These instant friends are Loner, Lady Meow Meow, and Milkshake. I also met two guys, a younger and older, who are NoBo PCTers. We all stopped at the Echo Lakes Chalet around the same time. While leaving Susie Lake to make a last haul up to Gilmore Lake for the night, I met another woman with her dog. She started last year but was turned off due to snow. This would seem a bit far south for any regular PCTers. But mid July I was almost finished with California. Long ways to go for NoBos!

I decided to call an early night tonight. Catch up on last night’s journaling, get a good leg rub in, eat the veggie and avocado sandwich I bought at the Chalet, and get a swim in before bed. All checked! Mostly I wasn’t sure I wanted to try for Dick’s Pass and then hike two more miles for the lake. At the risk of not finding as many campsites there, I called it early. I will be trying to make up those five miles tomorrow with an early start. The trail tomorrow should depart from the PCT and then stay up on the rim overlooking Lake Tahoe, so I think the miles should be easier. And it will put me as close to Tahoe City as I can go and still camp for free. I am very happy the miles haven’t been as brutal as they could have been. The TRT could have been my defeat for this summer. I mean there’s still time, but I feel good for now.

The mosquitos are ruthless tonight, so I am tucking in. I didn’t bring my bug net on my tent, so I will need to literally tuck in until it becomes too cool for them to be out.