The Joy of Fieldwork
It’s been a little silent around here, and I have to apologize. It’s just…so much stuff happened. Not everything Is worth to be mentioned around here but some of it is. So I would maybe just start by giving you a little insight into a biologists fieldwork.
hmmmm? Fieldwork? by a microbiologist?
I guess you wonder what that might look like. maybe a dude sitting beneath the crops with a massive two photon microscopy, or a field work adapted electron microscope and one of those heavy duty – military laptops, counting bacteria on soil particles or something.
Well, not quite, but I’d love to see that myself.
The truth is, I’ve been collecting sediment cores, which means pounding a little plastic tube, with a rope attached, into some lakewater sediment pulling it up for about 15m, hoping that it went into the sediment in the right angle, the lid closed, and that it wasn’t sucked out on its way up. And then doing that over and over and over again, slicing the sediment inbetween on a little shaky boat, trying to measure 1cm as exact as possible, only to fill all of it into a bucket in the end and call that an incubation.
Well, it’s been a lot of work.
Physically demanding work – nothing you’d usually experience working in a lab – but such a nice change for a while.
However, I came across one thing while working there. Sometimes you have to make decisions in the field, no matter how acurate and good the planning has been beforehands that just screw up your whole set up, and then you have to go with it. And sometimes that might actually lead your research in a completely different way then what you have planned.
If you are a researcher, and you ever come across something like that, let me remind you of two people: first Alexander Fleming,who got famous, even became a knight, for basically working sloppy, which however led to the discovery of antibiotics. And secondly of Bob Ross, if you don’t know him check him out on Youtube, who was a good artist but a person that framed the guideline: “We don’t make mistakes, we have happy accidents.” and went on with what he did and created something good out of it.