Getting a Feel for Field Research

Posted: March 6, 2012

Name: Joanne Althouse
School: Ursinus College
Program: Tropical Rainforest Studies, Australia

Now that we’re adjusted to life at The SFS Center for Rainforest Studies, we have really been able to delve into a few of our classes. Despite it being the wet season, we have had fantastic weather, with lots of sun and the occasional rainbow.

We’ve been lucky enough to have gone off site to explore the Tablelands with our professors and have learned a lot more about our surroundings. Over the past two weeks, we have had the field exercises for our natural resource management and socioeconomics classes.

For our natural resource management field exercise, we monitored the success of reforestation at Thiaki Creek, a restoration site.  This involved measuring aspects of year old seedlings. We also looked at flying fox roosting effects on the local community for our socioeconomics field exercise. This allowed us to visit the Tablelands Regional Council and the Tolga Bat Hospital.

Through these courses, we have been able to go into the field and get a feel of what it would be like to be a field researcher.

We’ve been crazy writing papers and creating presentations, but that doesn’t mean that we haven’t been having a blast! The Center volleyball league has started up with some serious competition. We have also been tree planting with the community each Saturday and enjoying refreshing swims in Lake Eacham and gorgeous Millaa Millaa falls.

The time spent hanging out at the Center has really brought the group closer and filled the Center with joyful activity.