My semester ended the first week of May. For many students, the end of a semester signals the beginning of summer and a time of relaxation. For myself and Dave the end of the semester signals one of the busiest times of the year for both of us – the field season. Dave’s field work is a bit more intense than mine. As mentioned in previous posts, he spends his field seasons in a remote arctic field camp on the Hudson Bay studying various aspects of the ecosystem. Every year Dave leaves at the end of May and returns to Utah towards the end of August. Weekly, brief satellite phone calls are our only means of communication. Meanwhile, while Dave is trying to keep from getting eaten by a polar bear and/or swarms of mosquito, I spend chunks of my summer doing field work in whatever national park or protected area I have a project. This year, starting around July 1, I will be alternating my time between home in Logan and Grand Teton National Park. I will be trying to not get eaten by a grizzly bear, gored by a moose, or driven insane by summer park visitors.
The lull between the end of the semester and the start of field work is usually taken up by days and days of field work preparations including ordering equipment, organizing gear, and testing equipment. Most of the time this work is boring and a bit of a hassle but this year Dave made testing some of his field equipment a bit more fun. Dave will be taking more than few high quality game cameras into the field this summer to examine predator/prey interactions. Having never used these cameras before, Dave brought a few home and decided a good way to familiarize himself with their use was to try them out on our cats!