This ten-year old burn site isn’t a simple walk through the park. The fire has left the land a subsided obstacle course scattered with wet and dry depressions to fall in and dead trees to trip over. At the end of a field day I leave bruised, tattered, sweaty, and covered in mosquito bites.
I have always marveled at the remarkable achievements of our students, before, during and after the summer research expedition. This year is no exception, and I take great joy in congratulating our alumni for the following accomplishments.
The night before my poster at the American Geophysical Union meeting, I barely slept. I had expected nerves and excitement, but I surprised myself with the level of anticipation I felt as I tossed and drifted in the hotel bed.
In the short term, I will need to communicate clearly at AGU when I present my poster in December. I will need to not only explain the research I did, but also answer questions from scientists who know far more about this field than I do. In some ways, it feels as though I am preparing for a debutante ball--an entrance into the scientific society that I wish to be a part of.
I think of Leana almost like our Russian “mother:” she always makes sure we don’t head out to the field without a lunch, often puts out our favorite snacks for late night lab work, and looks out for us with a watchful eye.
In the aftermath of our symposium presentations at the Northeast Science Station, I thought about what further analyses to run on the data I collected in the tundra. I have found a few exciting initial patterns, but I have to work much harder to understand my more complicated measurements. I have a nagging question. How does knowing what I now know help?
We have returned safely back home, with mixed feelings, at least in my case. I’m happy to be back, but miss the friends we left behind at the Northeast Science Station, and the immersion in a world unlike anything else I ever get to experience.…
Since its inception in 2008, the Polaris Project has been sustained by grants from the National Science Foundation and through the generosity of private contributors including the Trust for Mutual Understanding, the Betsy and Jesse Fink Foundation, and the Cogan Family Foundation. Tax deductible donations in support of the Polaris Project may be sent to the Woods Hole Research Center, 149 Woods Hole Road, Falmouth, MA 02540