During grad school, my project involved traveling to numerous countries around the world – I think I flew enough to circumnavigate the globe every year for about four or five years. In the midst of that my study system was coral reefs, and the 2016 mass bleaching event completely destroyed reefs that I had previously gotten to know well.
I have felt intense guilt ever since that event, and have gradually reduced my involvement with projects requiring such frequent travel – even by avoiding jobs that would be perfect for my skill set and scientific interests. I moved to Europe with the intent to be closer to colleagues, and have traveled to all meetings since then without flying. Unfortunately, given my career stage it has been difficult to avoid flying altogether, as I have needed to fly for interviews, visas, etc.
I am still a guilt-ridden work-in-progress.
I study the microbiomes of corals.