It only took one run

This week, Dispatches from the Field is excited to welcome Scott Lynch, a Master’s Candidate at University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, to share how his love for field biology (with sharks!) started. There are few experiences more unnerving than being told you have to run off a boat, up a ramp, and through a parking lot while carrying a 3-foot shark in your arms. I peered through the hot August Virginian sun, eyeing the obstacles along…

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Beggars can’t be choosers

My supervisor has always told me that a good field crew runs on its stomach.  I can’t speak for anyone else, but as a veteran of many field seasons in many different places, I personally have to agree with her.  When I’m in the field, an excessive amount of my time is spent thinking about lunch or dinner. When it comes to eating in the field, you have to take the good with bad.  On…

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Creating artificial natural communities

I have always been interested in understanding how plant communities are structured and assembled. That’s why I’ve spent the last half decade tromping around in old-fields, shrublands and woodlands, collecting, counting and measuring plants. While most of my research has involved surveys of different types of natural plant communities, in 2013 I was trying to understand the structure of communities when all plants were the same age. This meant that the established habitats I was used…

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Searching for a new home

My partner and I have been searching for a new house recently. It is considered a “seller’s” market here where houses that are listed in the morning have accepted offers by the evening. It is frustrating how fast houses sell, but at least we are in a good place where we don’t need to move immediately. However, what about when your home has been destroyed or it has disappeared? With all of the wildfires across…

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Clam Gardens Revisited

**This blog was originally posted on Sci/Why —  a blog where Canadian children’s writers discuss science, words, and the eternal question – why? We are happy to welcome Paula Johanson to the blog today. Paula tells us about helping intertidal biologists studying traditional First Nations clam gardens on the west coast. You can follow Paula on Twitter @PaulaJohanson. All photos are credited to Amy Groesbeck, intertidal biologist   Ever dig clams on a beach? If you…

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We need YOU!

With the beginning of our fourth year of Dispatches from the Field, one of our goals for the year is to increase the number of guest posts we have on the blog. We like to keep the story topics diverse ranging from studying birds in the Arctic, to mammals in the tropics, and all the way to the plants in your backyard. We also like to add more location markers on our map to indicate…

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Haaaaapppppy Birthday to you!

Today marks the 150th anniversary of confederation in Canada, so happy birthday Canada! Today also marks the third anniversary of our blog and we kid you not, the 150th blog post on Dispatches from the field! Today I was at a bookstore and I saw a children’s book about Canada and why we love it. It was perfect because it was, for the most part, all nature-related content. It made think about how lucky I…

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Searching for the Gray Jay

With Canada’s 150th birthday around the corner, Dispatches from the Field is excited to welcome back Emily Williams to talk about her adventures in Alaska searching for Canada’s national bird, the Gray Jay. For more on why the Gray Jay was chosen for Canada’s bird, check out the Canadian Geographic article. For more about Emily, see her bio at the end of this post! The last time I had to do a river crossing to…

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A quiet night

Nightswimming deserves a quiet night I’m not sure all these people understand It’s not like years ago The fear of getting caught The recklessness in water They cannot see me naked These things they go away “Nightswimming”, R.E.M. Full confession: I am not a particularly audacious person.  I invariably choose Truth over Dare, and I’m probably one of the few people over the age of 18 who can play Never Have I Ever and be…

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Sneak Preview of “Bats of Ontario”

This week Dispatches from the Field is excited to welcome back Toby J. Thorne, who wants to share with you a sneak peak into the “Bats of Ontario” field guide he wrote. Check out the end of the most for where to purchase it! Most field biologists will consult a field guide at some point in their careers. Whatever critters you’re studying, it helps to know what they look like, along with basic characteristics or measurements!…

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