You know you’re a field biologist when…

Yesterday, I was doing pollinator observations on my plants in the field. There was zero percent chance of rain in the forecast and it was supposed to be sunny all day (perfect pollinator weather), but this is Ireland, so of course it rained a few times. As I can’t observe pollinators when it’s raining, I promptly plopped down on the ground to wait it out.

Sitting there in the rain, I thought, you know this is something only a field biologist would do. No running for cover, no putting on a rain coat, no abandoning my field work, just patiently and stoically waiting for the rain to end.

And it worked! After a few minutes, the rain stopped and I could proceed with observations.

Also, I was *apparently* out there in the sweltering heat, as the temperature briefly touched 80F (27C) for a moment yesterday, and the Irish lost their minds. Don’t worry though, they have all reassured me that this will never happen again, haha.

Some other crimes only field biologists would consider that I’ve committed this field season:

1. cycle between 120-150 miles a week to tend and sample from my research plots
2. carry 40 m of chicken wire fencing on my bike
3. carry watering cans, sampling materials, coolers, battery packs, live plants, live bees, and dozens of pots on my bike (usually not all at once)
4. spend weekends conspicuously digging up plants from local city parks, hoping no one confronts me
5. hand carry 20 l of water per trip to each of my research plots from a tap half a kilometer away, and then repeat for a second round (like deadlifting 20 kg over 16 km!) maybe every day
6. wade into dense patches of stinging nettles to acquire one of the research plants I need
7. spend hundreds of euros of my own money on field equipment
8. set up a research experiment in the backyard
9. fill the freezer with specimens
10. line all the windowsills in the house with bags of soil (for drying purposes, duh)
11. buy many meters of bridal veil from a fabric shop and then stay up until midnights sewing little sample baggies for insects

Gotta love us mangy field biologists! We may show up to your party covered in stinking mud, but we’re the ones to call when you need to move large quantites of whatever (you know, furniture, vast numbers of plants, pollen grains) in a short period of time. 😀


6 thoughts on “You know you’re a field biologist when…

  1. I am not a field biologist, but I definitely feel a camaraderie with you on nos. 3, 4, 5, 9, & 10.

    I use bridal veil (tulle) as a cheap version of Reemay to keep beetles off my kale and cabbages. Also keeps the birds away from the strawberries, without risking the dangers of birdnetting, in which I have found entangled garden snakes, toads, baby rabbits, and fledgling robins…so I gave up that ‘fix.’

    I think I love field biologists, and in my next life maybe I will be one.

  2. you sure sound amazing, I hope the job market is clamoring for you when you get done, I know farmers and carpenters who dont work half that hard! Keep on going!

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