June 9, 2010
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The countdown is on…
I’m currently in my lab surrounded by a ridonculously exciting array of equipment – tote after tote of nets, vials, all kinds of field gear…I’m positively giddy about the whole thing. The other members of my research team are heading up north this Saturday to start sampling in northern Ontario, Quebec, and Labrador. I head out a week later for my summer home-away-from-home in Nunavut. We have a list a mile long of things we still need to finalize, but it’s all coming together…like the last adrenaline-fueled dash to the finish line after a marathon.
Our team had an excellent workshop last week, going over field protocol and sampling techniques and ironing out all the kinks (as much as these things can be ironed before hitting the field in remote locations). We also ran around in the woods and harassed the wildlife lots, so it was a big WIN overall (that’s me and a labmate inspecting a sweep net for buggy goodies).
I returned home last night from a two-day wilderness first aid course…a wholly practical and no-nonsense 48 hours in the bush, learning about assessment and emergency care – including what to do if you come across a panicked, knife-wielding bear attack victim who’s clawed to pieces and missing a foot. Frighteningly, this is a possibility in the regions in which we are travelling and conducting our research. Oddly, I found the whole thing (yes, including the bear-mauling scenario) completely entertaining and exciting…I’d love to pursue wilderness first aid even further if I get a chance once I’m back home.
I’m feeling homesick already, but trying hard not to let that become the dominant emotion surrounding my departure and stay in the north…this is truly a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and I want to milk it for all it’s worth.
I’ll drop in again before I go, and will become a much more regular poster once I’m settled in (yes, I WILL have internet connection, huzzah!)…I hope you’ll stick around for the journey!