Seeing the land in a different way

This week, we have a change of pace on Dispatches from the Field!  We are very excited to welcome archaeologist Marianna Cervantes, who tells us a bit about her experience doing archaeological field work in British Columbia.  For more about Marianna, check out her bio at the end of the post. For many, the field of archaeology is tied to the image of Indiana Jones defeating Nazis with whip in hand. Others associate archaeology with…

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Clean up, clean up, everybody, everywhere

Setting up experiments in the field is some of the most challenging, but also fun and rewarding work. Cleaning up experiments in the field is… well…just as challenging but a lot less fun! As I wrapped up my Ph.D. in the fall, I had to start to clean up the mess that I had made over the years. In this old field site, I was trying to understand what predicted abundance of introduced plant species…

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These boots are made for walking

This week, Dispatches from the Field welcomes guest blogger Sian Green, who shares some stories about her ‘fieldwork style’.  For more about Sian, check out her bio at the end of the post. For my 21st birthday I wanted what all girls want…a new pair of shoes! I got my wish and, although they were somewhat lacking in heels and glitter, since then they have taken me all over the world and been an essential…

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Naturalists Notice Nature – even in the winter!

To some, it is easy during these cold, snowy days to curl up with a cozy blanket, a good book, and a hot cup of tea. But where do the wildlife go? Sure, some migrate to where it is warmer (sounds like a good idea about now…) while others seem to do just fine with their surroundings! When you look at this picture, what do you see? This is a typical question we ask the…

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What would a real field work resume look like?

This week Dispatches from the Field is happy to welcome back Emily Williams, who polled some of her friends and colleagues on what their real fieldwork resume would say. Read more about Emily at the end of her post! While every career on the planet probably has its own idiosyncrasies and oddities, some careers have more than most. I’d wager that many people in the science field could easily give Mike Rowe of Dirty Jobs…

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A beginner’s guide to making a unique first impression

This week Dispatches from the Field welcomes Jenna Finley, an undergraduate student from Queen’s University studying plant ecology, to tell us about her first time in the field with her supervisor. Check out the end of the post to learn more about Jenna! My very first field season has now come to an end. I managed to learn a lot and pick up a few good stories at the same time. The earliest, and as…

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A beginner’s guide to making a unique first impression

This week Dispatches from the Field welcomes Jenna Finley, an undergraduate student from Queen’s University studying plant ecology, to tell us about her first time in the field with her supervisor. Check out the end of the post to learn more about Jenna! My very first field season has now come to an end. I managed to learn a lot and pick up a few good stories at the same time. The earliest, and as…

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The things we do…

My advisor has always maintained that a field crew runs on its stomach.  In other words, well-fed field assistants are much happier and much more productive – not to mention much less likely to mutiny. There is no doubt that this is true.  Trying to run a field crew without an adequate supply of coffee, chocolate, or wine is an enterprise doomed to failure.  But – at the risk of disagreeing with my advisor –…

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Cheers to a new year!

“For last year’s words belong to last year’s language and next year’s words await another voice.” -T.S. Eliot Wow 2017 was a busy year! Here at Dispatches from the Field, one of us successfully defended her PhD, one submitted hers, and one decided to start a PhD. However, we still managed to publish 43 posts that received almost 14000 views! The start of a new year is always fun to reflect on the past trip…

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Love birds: the day I broke a turkey’s heart

One of my favourite field work stories comes from my very first field season. I’ll be the first to admit that I had no idea what I was doing back then. I couldn’t identify most plants, was slightly scared (ok, terrified) of dragonflies and went to the field wearing outfits I would wear to work at my part-time retail job later in the day…what was I thinking??? Anyways, I remember it being a brisk morning…

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