Fieldwork FUN , Fieldwork FAIL, and Fieldwork SCARES

Carrying out research isn’t always glamorous or necessarily go according to plan but sometimes it’s good to reflect back on the good and the bad; and to have a laugh about it. I was recently party to both ‘fieldwork fail’ and ‘fieldwork fun’ involving superglue, bling and hedgehogs… we were carrying out research on the road crossing behaviour of rats… yes rats, but somehow we ended up with more hedgehogs than rats in our live capture traps (the hedgehogs seem to love peanut butter). As a result, we started coding the hedgehogs with coloured beads and sequins (fieldwork fun) (3x red = RRR or white pink white = WPW). We had to superglue the beads onto one of the hedgehog spikes so they didn’t come off. This is harder than you might think and on one particular occasion, my colleague managed to superglue her fingers to the bead instead of the hedgehog spine (fieldwork fail). She wasn’t impressed.


Hedgehog with ‘bling’!

As the end of the year approaches and our stress levels climb, it is good to reflect on what we have achieved so far. If you have had a difficult time and need cheering up go to #fieldworkfail#fieldworkfun and #fieldworkscares for some entertainment.  You should also think about adding you own fieldwork story for others to enjoy.

I think that fieldwork researchers need to up-skill with regard to managing vehicles as so many researchers seem to get stuck or get themselves into tricky situations (see below).



Imagine have a snapping turtle loose in your car!

Finally, if you need some science humour I suggest going to #ScienceHumor  (sic – American spelling). The jokes are really bad but they might just put a smile on your face.



About Robyn Kannemeyer

Robyn Kannemeyer was the Researcher Development Coordinator at AUT from October 2016 to the beginning of March 2017. She has an MSc in biosecurity and conservation and is taking up a role at Landcare Research as an Environmental Social Scientist. She is passionate about conserving New Zealand’s unique biodiversity and recently returned from travelling through South Africa, Botswana, Namibia and Tanzania where she climbed Mt Kilimanjaro.

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