Field Notes: Settling into a Field Site and Embracing my Inner Limpet

As I summit Everest, sweating from exertion with the sun glaring on my face, I turn my gaze downward and sweep the creviced ground with my eyes. The creatures I am here to study are inconspicuous, blending into the rocks with their grey, ridged shells. Their species name is Siphonaria gigas, the Greek gigas meaning “giant,” and these…

Field Notes: Do You Prefer Your Salmon Hot or Iced?

If you’ve been following the information stream on climate change, you have likely heard of global warming. And, if you happen to be interested in fish or marine life (like yours truly), you also probably know that this means many of the world’s water systems are projected to increase in temperature . Even at face…

Field Notes: Ewe Wouldn’t Believe How Sheep Behave!

It has been two and a half years of collecting data for my oxymoronically entitled study, “An assessment of consistent individual differences during human-animal interactions in the pre and post-natal period in rangeland ewes”. Ewes are female sheep for those of ewe that do not know. I say my study seems like an oxymoron because prior to…

Field Notes: Ruminations on integrated crop-livestock systems.

As I shifted the sheep from one grazed section of the field to the next luscious cover crop patch, they moved in threes, filling the width of the corridor.  They became more frantic to get to wherever the sheep in front was going, and the electric netting that formed the corridor leaned precariously on its side….

Field Notes: Research in the time of COVID-19

COVID19 has been a tough pill to swallow for everyone, from teachers, to parents, to everyday employees. The global pandemic has caused unprecedented impacts not only on the workforce and economy, but everyday life as well. Academic research has both suffered and flourished in new and surprising ways under the heel of COVID19. Last month, as we were all adapting to stay-at-home orders, we highlighted some of our animal behavior researchers’ pandemic version of “the field.” For this month’s field notes, we are checking in with them to find out just how the pandemic has impacted their research for worse, or for better.