Introducing Mick... And a recap of Africa.

This is going to be a quick one. Many of you have maybe noticed that something has been going on with "Mike" lately. Thinner eyebrows, different clothes, makeup... Well, that's because Mike is becoming Mick. After battling demons for decades, after struggling with gender dysphoria and several bouts of severe depression, I made the decision sometime in April to transition from male to female. I started taking estrogen injections beginning June 6 and now, 4 months later, I can honestly say I have never been happier. I understand how it feels to be at peace. Everything I do feels more exciting, new again, and just overall more authentic.

Transition is a process, and a slow one at that. One of my venerable trans friends described it to me as a marathon. And, as I have quite a bit of experience running marathons, I would say the comparison is apt. I hope you'll follow along over the next year or so as my journey takes me to new heights :)

That said, I'm still a climate scientist first and foremost. My passion for science is now only stronger. Especially after two months working on the ORACLES campaign in Namibia.

For those unfamiliar with what I was doing in Africa for 2 months, you can read two blogs I wrote about that experience here:

http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/blogs/fromthefield/2016/09/20/a-flight-a-sunset-and-a-traditional-namibian-braai/

http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/blogs/fromthefield/2016/09/06/studying-african-fires-from-the-skies/

I had the great pleasure of working with some of the best scientists in the world and two superior research aircraft (the ER-2 and P-3) to study how the smoke from interior African fires interacts with low clouds off the west coast of southern Africa.

Here's a photo album summarizing my trip:

 

I'll be back in following days to talk more in depth about some of the stuff we did there.

In the meantime, Mick, out.

 

Mika ToscaComment