A belated happy birthday to my wife, Staci. Don’t worry, I did call her and sent some nice flowers, but since it is she who has sacrificed the most to allow me the opportunity to come to
As young undergraduates, field camps and field experiences are an adventure. Mackenzie, one of our field crew this year, just returned from a three-week trip to
Now, I can only speak from my experience, especially this summer, but leaving one’s significant other, children, and other responsibilities behind for a month or more at a time can be quite difficult. The advent of cell phones and the Internet (when available) have made this separation somewhat easier, but many field scientists still have difficulties with these sacrifices and even refuse to make the sacrifices and hang up their hiking boots and field gear for more administrative or non-travel oriented tasks. Likewise, the families left behind during these prolonged experiences have to make sacrifices as well. Finding alternate child care, a doubling of reproductive chores at home, keeping track of a dinosaur blog, etc. are added strains on the life of loved ones.
This isn’t intended to be a moaning session, but the realities are just that…real. Field experience is crucial to the development of young scientists at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Fieldwork by museums, universities and individuals is critical to the furtherance of science and our understanding of the world around us. My hope, instead, is to make the readers of this blog a little more aware that, despite the adventure of living in the desert for five weeks and discovering interesting things, field-based science is not just fun and games…though it does have its moments.