“Danielle,” I hear you asking, “I’ve been missing my weekly dose of the coolest bioacoustics news! What happened? Where is my fun link of the week??”
Well, bioacoustics friends, field season is what happened.
My frogs are calling and so I must follow them. They seem to have started early this year, probably due to our relatively warm weather. So I have been out placing equipment, maintaining said equipment, and recording frogs for the past two weeks now. The data is rolling in, and while I haven’t had a chance to look at it yet, so far the new field protocol has been successful.
So what does my typical day look like? Well, first let’s talk about how it’s not a “day” anymore, it’s a night. My fieldwork starts at dusk with a 30 minute visual survey, looking for frogs and egg masses. If we find any, we (my field assistants and I) weigh them and measure them. After the visual survey, we wait until 8pm rolls around and then take a directional microphone into the pond to record individual frogs. This goes along until 10pm or three frogs get recorded, whichever comes first. It’s often cold, wet, and a little tedious, but it’s always so exciting to be standing in the middle of a pond full of chorusing frogs.
But let me tell you, I am tired.
Fieldwork is great. I love having the opportunity to do it. But they never tell you how to balance fieldwork with classes and having a life outside of science and presenting at conferences and all the other things being a graduate student entails.
Even so, even with all of this on my plate, it makes me feel alive and full of enthusiasm for the science I do when I have a good day. And the good days are plentiful.
So, you want your fun link of the week? How about lots of pictures of adorable frogs, instead?
And if you really want to experience what frog fieldwork sounds like, go listen to this video.