Karen Sharwood - February 11, 2002: Wearing many hats - Karen Sharwood is the principal investigator in the cardiovascular control experiment. She is with the University of Cape Town.
Today saw my role as scientist take a minor back seat as I assumed the Karl-and-Dale position. Both Karl and Dale are in back in South Africa for a couple of days, which means that besides our SA team having become significantly reduced, our admin/tekkies/logistics guys have also disappeared. Anyway, I decided that I would give it a go today and use some of my female charm to organise some of our logistics issues.
Igor Radyaev is the deputy in the foreign economic department at Star City and he has been dealing with all our problems and requests for the project.
Seeing as this is a military organisation, there are rules and procedures for everything. It really makes you realise (and really appreciate) the freedom that we have back in South Africa and the ability to make decisions independent of an entire organisation(s). We need to send formal request to do anything here - even if we would like to hold a meeting, we need to request it from General Klimuk, who will then either approve it or deny our request. Igor has been really helpful in assisting us with getting to know the system and very understanding when we tend to forget itů.
I had a very productive day and managed to clarify a number of fundamental issues that were relatively urgent (Sharwood charm works once again!). Excellent training for project management and negotiation skills and will keep at it until the return of the Karl-and-Dale duo, but I think I should probably stick to my "Karen Science" (as coined by Dale) status!