As a field ecologist work isn’t always easy. Unlike a stay-at-home-scientists who cultivates seedlings in his greenhouses, we can’t predict what our experiment will look like. You start on paper creating a nice and elegant research design that takes into account as many factors as you can possibly imagine, but still experience shows that no research design ever matches the final output.
It is called ‘bad luck’ and it’s as closely linked to the job as the studied plants themselves. As you could see in the post ‘the good…’ we visited this beautiful breath-taking mountain at the end of the american continent. We had a nice several hours climb up to the highest point where the view took our breath away. But then we realized that the vegetation on top was not at all suitable for the experiment.
It is bad luck, because we climbed all the way up. Being unable to use the mountain means that we lost a day and that we should try to find another mountain. However, finding mountains in Chile is not an easy process. Mainly because almost all roads at the tops are privately owned and in bad condition after the snow melt in early spring.
Some advanced networking with local landowners did not yet pay off. We still need to find a third mountain that fits all the requirements of our experimental design. If not, we’ll need to be really creative. Luckily, creativity is one of the main qualities of a field ecologist.
Bad luck it is, but we are used to it and you would be a sad ecologist if you would let it ruin the day. We decided not to care and enjoyed our awesome hike in the mountain. You never give up, because there are always possibilities. If the car can’t cross the rivers that ruin the road you can always continu on foot…