Happy damselfly catching in Sweden

We are excited to welcome Hanna Bensch, a PhD candidate at Linnaeus University Kalmar, Sweden, to the blog today. For more about Hanna, see the end of this post. The summer of 2012 was the first of six summers I spent with a butterfly net and boots, catching damselflies. I had just finished my first year of bachelor studies in biology and had limited experience with field work. To be honest, I think the main…

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Cloudy with a chance of data

Anyone who does fieldwork knows how important the weather is.  Regardless of what you study, the weather plays a huge role in shaping the kind of day you have.  It determines if you go home at night thinking you have the best job in the world, or wondering why any sane person would do what you do. So much for the rain day: checking tree swallow nest boxes in the rain. When I started my…

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Mother Nature, what did you do?

We are excited to welcome back Tara Harvey to the blog today. Tara is a Hydrogeologist with the Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority. Previously she told us all about why she was always standing in fields. For more about Tara, see the end of this post. Field work is fantastic! It’s a great opportunity to get out of the office, stretch your legs, and collect some data. And even when you are doing the same…

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Weird Field Finds: Part 3

We are excited to offer the third edition of the weirdest things our followers have found in the field. And we swear, every edition we write, it gets weirder and weirder. Jason found this rather…unique…version of a ‘ship in a bottle’… Poor, poor squirrel. We’re not sure if we should be scared or intrigued by Christie’s field find below…. We think we can settle on a little scared and a little intrigued. In he spirit…

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Fun in fens

One of my recent stories was about some unintentional “swamp-wading” I did when I was taking the Ontario Wetland Evaluation System course in North Bay, Ontario. If you recall, we were venturing to a fen, but had to cross the swamp first that surrounded it. Neck-deep in muck, soaked from head to toe, we made it, just barely. A couple of days later, we ventured out to another fen, this one called Frair Lake. This…

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Wow, time flies!

Happy New Year! It’s hard to believe that we started Dispatches from the Field four and a half years ago, back in June 2014.  Where has the time gone?!? 2018 marked a busy year for all of us. Catherine and Amanda both received their Ph.D. and started new jobs, while Sarah started a Ph.D. That didn’t stop any of us from getting out into the field though! Some of our notable blog posts from this…

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Algonquin Adventures

This week Dispatches from the Field welcomes Alex Sutton, a PhD candidate at the University of Guelph, Ontario, Canada to share his adventures chasing Canada Jays in the beautiful Algonquin Park. For more about Alex, check out his bio at the end of this post! One of the things I enjoy most about field work is being immersed in an environment every day, and, as a result, having the opportunity to see things that many…

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A Scottish experience

This week on Dispatches of the Field, we welcome Larissa Simulik to share her story of conducting bird surveys in Scotland – sheep and all! For more about Larissa check out her bio at the end of the post. The beauty of field work is getting to travel and work/live in some of the most unique places in the world. An example of this was the time I spent working as a seasonal assistant warden…

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Life with owls

This week, Dispatches is excited to welcome a good friend of ours, Lauren Meads.  Lauren is the Executive Director of the Burrowing Owl Conservation Society of BC – and is in the enviable position of working with some of the most charismatic (micro)fauna around.  For more about Lauren and the BOCSBC, check out the bio at the end of the post. As the Executive Director of the Burrowing Owl Conservation Society of British Columbia, I’m…

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Freshwater Exploration: are Invasive Crayfish Predating Benthic Invertebrates

This week Dispatches from the field welcomes Arron Watson,  who conducted his masters by research in Entomology at the University of Reading. His summer project was to investigate how signal crayfish, an invasive species, has an impact on benthic invertebrate predation. He sampled 20 sites across the UK, 10 without signal crayfish, 10 with. He conducted this field work over a month in May and is telling us about his experiences here! May 1st 2018:…

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