I'm sitting on the plane about halfway between Florida and Alaska (oh hey Canada!) and I figured I should start my blog. I hopefully have three (yes three) bags of camping gear below the plane and I'm excited to get back to my roots and into the field. My love of being outdoors is how I got started down this whole botany path [re: trail crew in Iowa when I was 21 and I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life and had never slept in a tent. That summer, living and working outside, I figured it out]. Although I love my lab at UF, and we do a lot of cool science, it is time to go hiking.
I'll be spending the next few days in Anchorage to stock up on supplies: bear spray, camp stove fuel, nonperishable food items, etc. Next, I will head to University of Fairbanks to work in the herbarium for a few days. I am serious when I say I really enjoy herbariums, so I am excited to see their specimens and annotate some Micranthes; this will also be the first time I see some of these high-latitude Micranthes. The anticipation is almost too much. There is a lot of cool research happening at UAF so I hope I get a chance to talk to some of the researchers and grad students. I'm sure they will have a few pointers for me too. I really need to talk to someone who has been to Nome, Alaska but more on that topic later.
I'll attempt to update this blog as much as I can through out the summer, but I think it is fairly safe to presume that my internet time will be limited. That said I'll be doing some cool stuff, so I'll make a valiant effort to stay in touch. Speaking of staying in touch I should thank Nico, my advisor, for buying me one of those emergency satellite locator beacons for the summer and my labmate Cody (check out his research here: www.codycoyotee.com - and I thought I did cool fieldwork!) for being "my person". I'll be checking in with him every day so all you worriers out there (family - I'm looking at you) should know I have safety precautions in place. Hey I'm a scientist - I plan ahead!