Hello fellow environmental scientists,
Sadly, this is my final blog post but fear not Amy will be taking over my role in the coming weeks so keep watching this space! Getting some experience is really important and the reason for me taking on this job. I’ve found it an extremely interesting and valuable experience which has given me a load of new knowledge and skills which I would struggle to achieve elsewhere and may even have swayed me into doing a PhD in the future, who knows!
Personally, I feel experience in the field and lab work is really important for environmental scientists. The thing I love most about working in the field is it isn’t like a school or A level field trip. There is generally much more thinking involved. You’re taken to a place and asked to apply knowledge you’ve gained and have to wrap your brain around the process in 3D. So it’s no longer just an image of a glacier or a river but instead you’re walking on the glacier, looking into the crevasses and the river is in your shoes and halfway up your leg. The world is often much more complicated than text books make out, with processes happening on top of each other, human interference and it is all the more fascinating because of it. Personally, being able to see things for myself makes understanding how the world works so much easier.
Secondly, this sort of thing is not for everyone! My flat mate, another BSC Physically Geography graduate who has done exactly the same modules as I for the last 3 years thinks I am crazy. She was first put off by the topic soil and then after explaining that I spent several hours a day sieving soil, cleaning and writing notes in my lab book and will do the same again tomorrow and the next day and the next … was more than enough to put her off for life. Taking time out to see if this is something you are cut out for is always a good idea. I have found that the series of repetitive tasks which makes up lots of lab, a set of mini goals which I get a little satisfactory feeling by finishing one task and starting another. Sad but true. Having this mind set has meant I have really enjoyed my time in the lab and I thoroughly look forward to reading Beth’s paper to see what she does with the results I’ve collected!
So thank you for reading, I hope you’ve found it useful. Keep watching this space as Amy will be starting her leg of the blogging journey soon. If you’ve found this useful and are looking for a few more blogs like this I find both http://thesiswhisperer.com/ and http://mikewhitfield.wordpress.com/ both really interesting blogs on field work and academia. They focus mostly on writing PhD; however, I think the advice works just as well for undergraduates. Once again I hope you’ve found this interesting and maybe even useful!
I leave you with my favorite photo from my trip of Beth being followed or chased by a small flock of sheet!