Caroline Chaboo

Caroline Chaboo

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Gear

One of the things that I forget when getting ready for an expedition is how much I have learned about field research in the past and how much there is to learn if you are new to fieldwork. I'm not just speaking of learning field collection methods or processing insects in our field lab station. When you are going on your first expedition experience, you don't know what gear to bring. What will the weather be like? What shoes are best in the muggy Amazon rain forest? What socks should you bring? What will best carry it all from Kansas to Lima to the field station and back? It is a charming reminder how much we learn from our first expedition even before we walk a trail. These are but a few of the things we are going over in weekly pre-departure meetings.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Gear

One of the things that I forget when getting ready for an expedition is how much I have learned about field research in the past and how much there is to learn if you are new to fieldwork. I'm not just speaking of learning field collection methods or processing insects in our field lab station. When you are going on your first expedition experience, you don't know what gear to bring. What will the weather be like? What shoes are best in the muggy Amazon rain forest? What socks should you bring? What will best carry it all from Kansas to Lima to the field station and back? It is a charming reminder how much we learn from our first expedition even before we walk a trail. These are but a few of the things we are going over in weekly pre-departure meetings.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Greeted by Evening Chill

While Diana and Malena headed out on another night walk, Dan, Choru and I set up the mercury vapor light trap again in front of my cabin. As we tied the white sheets, and turned on the light, the wind was picking up speed. We had been warned that a “friaje”, a cold polar wind coming up from Patagonia, was heading our way. Despite the wind, the number of insects coming to our sheet was low, the diversity was still good, with some unusual specimens we had not sampled before.

At midnight, the friaje was firmly here: the wind was gusting (it seemed gale-force) with heavy rains pelting down. In the dark of my thatch-roofed cabin, I curled into a foetal position under the thin blanket while the temperature dropped from 90°+ to about 55°!  I hope my little wooden cabin, with its lower solid half walls, upper screening, and thatched roof will last the night. The plop-plop of rain leaking through, the gusting wind, the thunder, and the occasional crack and crash of breaking tree limbs ensure that I am alert and attentive all night long. -Caroline