Much like being a graduate student, postdoc life is markedly similar with the grand focus on research as many other aspects of life are but an after-thought. As an instigator of fun and adventures, I found myself on the Cornell postdoctoral advisory committee, working on ways to provide events to stimulate life here in Ithaca for postdocs. Many of the activities have focused on professional development but the events I have had the most fun creating are those that foster community beyond the narrow institutional cells also known as departments.
On June 17th, I assembled a motley crew of volunteer postdocs from across Cornell for a hike to learn about the local ecosystems and geology. Although originally slated for 15 people, we ended up being a group of 27 postdocs! We took a 1.5 mile loop around Thatchers Pinnacle in the Danby State Forest, just south of Ithaca, NY. We saw some of the tail end of spring flowers and since the soils were still moist, we enjoyed playing with young newts and a view of the Cayuga valley. I hope the next group of postdoctoral advisory committee members are able to arrange future hikes!