It is spring(-ish) here in Ann Arbor. On my walk in this morning, I saw a couple of daffodils beginning to flower, some maples beginning to bud, and Forsythias beginning to leaf out. Before too long, I’m sure many amateur birders like me will be out looking for migrants as they pass through Michigan, and hoping that the professional birders like Ben Winger let us tag along when they go out. 

The other thing that happens about now is that we start planning for Commencement (My first one as Chair! And yes, I’ll be in full academic regalia!). Our graduating seniors also start thinking about what happens after graduation. The ones I’ve talked to are figuring out how to spend time at UMBS, considering grad school opportunities, planning epic road trips, taking some time to relax, and lining up job opportunities. Many of our grad students are getting ready for their dissertation presentations; other grad students are thinking about uninterrupted research during the summer, as are some of the faculty. And finally, some of our faculty are planning summer courses, research, lab and field work, among many other things. All of us, I hope, will find time to recharge. This time of year is my favorite in the academic calendar because it provides an opportunity to both look backwards and look ahead.

For instance, we get to think about all that our graduating seniors and finishing grad students have accomplished while also looking ahead at where they’re going next. And this happens as field and lab research ramp up. Plus, it’s finally spring, after a long, dark winter.  So, whether you’re moving on from Ann Arbor, sticking around Ann Arbor, or have long since left Ann Arbor, I hope you too have a lot to look forward to and to celebrate this spring.