Musings of a roaming nature nerd

A field biologist… Part 1

A field biologist wears many hats. She dabbles in botany, explores entomology, finds passion in ornithology and ties together the strands of each into that wonderful web of life, ecology. A field biologist also wears an actual hat to protect her from the sun!

A field biologist rises two hours before the sun. Breakfast is eaten, maps are organized, trucks are loaded. She enters the field as the world awakens… sometimes with coffee in hand to ensure her own alterness!

A field biologist carries a lot of gear. Into her pack goes: 3 Liters of water, lots of fruit and granola, binoculars, a PDA for data collection, GPS unit, maps, compass, flagging for trails and territories, first aid kit, an audio lure, rubber boots for wet sites, snake chaps for snakey sites, a machete for clearing pesky poison hemlock, 3 ID badges, pencils and pens, and a radio for being in touch with the Marine dispatch “Long Rifle.” A field biologist must be prepared for almost anything, including artillery fire- hence the radio to double check for the all-clear!

A field biologist seeks out the small to help explain the big. When she swats at flies that means there is available food for endangered birds. When she hears the endangered birds that means there are healthy layers of vegetation for nest building. When she crawls through the dense vegetation, she is crawling through a healthy riparian corridor. And the healthy riparian corridor means an intact ecosystem is sustaining life on many levels. Every bite from a mosquito and sting from a nettle reminds the field biologist that she is a small part of something bigger, something glorious and something worth protecting!


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