Lars-the-guru: FIELD DIARY
Something is up with my new PhD student, Girl in Gumboots – she’s got a sparkle in her eye and a spring in her step. I know she’s thrilled with the brand new computer I provided but I suspect there’s more to it than her 64-bit version of Matlab. It’s pretty hard to tell because she gets so excited about everything geeky, but I’ve started to suspect that she’s having fun outside of the department. When she approached me this morning to ask for Thursday AND Friday off, I decided to find out what she’s up to.
Fortunately, I submitted a proposal when Girl in Gumboots first arrived in Scotland – there’s very little regional data on the foraging behaviour of ginger students relative to their environment so there’s a definite need for more research. A study undertaken in Cape Town showed this particular female exhibited a propensity for food markets, as well as cheese and wine farms, but the physical drivers here are very different.
The tag data will not only increase our understanding of how ginger students interact with their immediate physical environments, it will also ensure that my minion is not, in fact, attempting to have a life. Funding for said proposal came though just in time for this unique tagging opportunity. What can she possibly require time off for?
Based on previous anecdotal observations, I hypothesise that my student is going to spend most of the weekend at home, working tirelessly and going for the odd meander along the coastal path or the Lade Braes. However, now that she has a car and because foraging appears to take up a significant proportion of her time, I theorise that some of her Saturday morning will also be allotted to exploring farmers markets in the neighbouring villages.
The tag I’ll be using not only gives me a position from the Doppler shift (think of an ambulance driving past – the siren sounds higher in pitch when it’s driving towards you and then fades out as it drives away) received by the satellites, but it also has a wet/dry sensor and a pressure sensor. Thanks to these, I’ll be able to get some behavioural data to help me piece together more than just where she is in space and time.
Tagging planned for tomorrow at 13h00 sharp!