Cold comfort

Light raindrops pattered against the tarp stretched above my head.  Deep inside my tank top, t-shirt, long-sleeved shirt, sweatshirt, and jacket, I shivered.  The damp cold of the day had made its way insidiously through my layers of clothing, freezing me from the inside out – and we had only been sitting here for two hours, meaning we had at least six more to go.  I sighed, resigning myself to a(nother) cold, clammy, uncomfortable day.…

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Dispatch from the jungle

We are very excited to welcome Dr. Alice Boyle back as a guest poster today. In her previous post, Alice shared some of her adventures from her doctoral fieldwork in Central American, and this week she takes us back to the Caribbean slopes of Costa Rica.  For more about Alice, check out her bio at the end of the post. In 2004, I spent a year doing field work on the wet, Caribbean slope of Costa Rica.…

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Stranger things have happened in Wire Fence field

Seven years. I have spent seven years doing fieldwork in Wire Fence field, and just last weekend, I collected my final data from that site. Next year the field is set to be bush-hogged and that will mark the end of my time at the site. I wanted to take a moment today to write a bit about the wonderfully beautiful and endlessly frustrating Wire Fence field. Wire fence field is a beautiful field site,…

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“We’ll be singing…”

This week’s Dispatch comes from guest blogger Haley Kenyon, who offers a valuable bit of insight gained during her field season studying warblers in British Columbia.  For more about Haley, see her bio at the end of the post. Today I’m going to tell you about something that is very important. It may even be the key to a successful field season, but no one seems to talk about it. Yes, to have a successful…

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Fears of fieldwork

“Do one thing every day that scares you.” – Eleanor Roosevelt In reading responses to the recently popular hashtag #fieldworkscares, I realized that luckily I haven’t had to deal with any major scares in the field (knock on wood!). But nonetheless, to a first time field biologist, some minor things can feel pretty scary! So I am going to share some of my #fieldworkfears as well and how I overcame them. One of the best…

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The Secret Life of Team Honey Bee

With 7 species of bees being listed as endangered species this week, it is good timing to welcome a guest post by Rachael E. Bonoan, a  Ph. D. candidate from Tufts University about her research with honey bees.  “Anyone have to pee?” I ask loudly so that Joanna, one of my interns, will wake up. It has been a long week of long drives, made longer by the fact that the air conditioning in my…

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The many joys of tropical fieldwork

This week, Dispatches from the Field is excited to welcome guest blogger Zachary Kahn, who tells us about some of the trials, tribulations, and triumphs of his fieldwork in Costa Rica.  For more about Zach, check out his bio at the end of the post. I was surprised the first time it happened, although I really shouldn’t have been. I had been warned many times. I had been told to wear bug spray and bring…

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What’s for lunch? #fieldeats

During our recent outreach events with the Kingston Field Naturalists and the Kingston Frontenac Public Library, we noticed that people were really interested in our eating habits. The what’s, where’s, and how’s of eating during fieldwork were questions that kept coming up. If your fieldwork entails living in isolation from the public for many weeks, how do you get the food there and store it properly? If you have no access to refrigeration, what do…

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Red in tooth and claw

Hints of spring in eastern Ontario…. One crisp, clear March day a couple of years ago, I found myself driving out to the Queen’s University Biological Station with a friend.  She was going out to do fieldwork, and I was going out to help her (in an effort to pretend that I still did fieldwork).  It was a typical Ontario pre-spring day: the snowbanks along the roadside were almost as tall as the car, and…

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The Fire and Ice Tour Part 2

#TeamFire is now over with (see last week’s post), and onto the second half of the adventures from Dr. Jeff Havig: #TeamIce (Glacial systems on Pacific Northwest stratovolcanoes) Dr. Jeff Havig (Department of Geology, University of Cincinnati) Professor Trinity Hamilton (Department of Biological Sciences, UC) Jordyn Miller (Graduate Student, Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences, Purdue University) Helen Rogers (lab worker, Department of Biological Sciences, UC) #TeamIce was now assembled in White Salmon, WA, in the…

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