Field Notes: “Ah-oooo” says the eider

I had intended the “Note From The Field” posts to be about my work in the field. However, I will not be heading into the field for another month or so.  My boyfriend just left for the field (Wapusk National Park just north of Churchill, Manitoba) last week and therefore his research is on my mind. Therefore, this post will be about his study species: The common eider.

Hand knit common eider for Dave

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Boyfriends Lead to Conflict in Women’s Leisure

As shocking as this may seem, there are entire journals devoted to the study of leisure. Leisure, as in, how your time is spent when you are not working or doing chores.  At times, recreation research is published in leisure journals as recreating is something you do during your free time.  I was looking for a specific, recreation article in the Journal of Leisure Sciences when I came across a paper entitled: “An Exploration of Women’s Leisure within Heterosexual Romantic Relationships”   by Herridge, Show, and Mannell. I saved the article and tucked it away for reading during my own leisure time. Summary of their findings:  dating really screws up women’s leisure time.

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Recreation Ecology?

That is what I asked myself when I first learned about this field of research. “So, you’re saying that there is a field of science that will pay me to hike around in National Parks and collect data about recreation?”.  It sounded too good to be true. Recreation ecologists do not only work in National Parks of course, but based on the legal, dual mandate of the Park Service to both provide opportunities for visitors while also protecting natural and cultural resources, the National Park Service has a vested interest in recreation ecology research. Recreation ecology studies can occur in any setting where recreation is occuring: such as National Forests, Bureau of Land Management lands, National Monuments, and even local parks or preserves.  Although many people have recreated on the types of lands where recreation ecology research occurs, few people have even heard of recreation ecology.

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