Investing in good people

As I’m learning how to manage grad students, undergrad students, techs, and other PIs as we collaborate across three different institutions in three states, I’m trying to invest in balancing fun times with our team with hard work time. We have taken a few undergrads from UTEP to Albuquerque Trader Joes for the first time while they were helping out with experiment set-up at the Sevilleta, taken a quick hike in the La Sals after the long drive from ABQ to Moab (And finding a crazy ladder to get up a steep part!) with the field crew, and stopping at the Owl Cafe on the drive between El Paso and ABQ with a visiting Chinese grad student and our summer McNair scholarship undergrad.

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What I hope will become a long-term , friendly rivalry will be going to the Albuquerque Isotopes (so perfect for our project!) vs. El Paso Chihuahuas triple A baseball games! So far, the Chihuahuas have won one game (after 14 innings!) at the ABQ stadium; the UTEP crew are planning to attend a game the next time the ‘Topes are playing against the Chihuahuas in El Paso, and hopefully we can even it up. I’m hoping it will keep us connected to each other even though we spend relatively little time in the same place.

Any ideas for fun team-building?

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Before leaving for freshman year at MIT, Jarek tackles a climb in the La Sals.
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