SEA Currents: Woods Hole Partnership Education Program
Science is One Big Field Day
For those of us who like the outdoors more than they like cubicles, ecosystem science is a field of opportunity. When you study coastal wetlands, every day is literally a field day. Since we use a portable gas analyzer that both collects and analyzes data in the field, there is very little need for lab work. This means I can spend my entire day working in coastal wetlands learning about the way each site sequesters carbon. From what I have learned, the difference in the amount of carbon each site stores greatly depends on wide array of plant life contained in coastal wetlands, and each wetland is different. They can be natural, restored, brackish, high, low, and many more.
Field work has other advantages besides being outdoors. I also get to tour Cape Cod on the way to work. The sites I work on require mini “road trips” to get there. I have seen different towns that I would have never seen if not for field work such as Wellfleet, Mashpee, Hyannis, and Orleans. The road trips also allow me to spend time with my postdoc advisor, Faming Wang . This has provided wonderful bonding opportunities for us; we have talked about history, race, food, music, and the intricacies of driving. We have also discovered that we both have a love for movie soundtracks and car naps.
Perhaps the best thing about field work is that I have never done it before in this capacity. It is a new experience that I get to do something outside of the field of study that I plan on going into. I gain a different type of experience that others like myself do not get to have which is both informative and interesting. Even though I will be going into the biomedical field, what I’ve learned may help me with other situations and allow me to view problems in a different way.