A big chunk of my work focuses on long-term monitoring, of vegetation and (micro)climate. It highlights the importance of this continuity, and many of the most important conclusions we are taking – and especially will take in the near future – depend on this persistence in the field.
Yet persistence is far from easy. Repeating your fieldwork year after year, finding the necessary funds, time, people and expertise to keep going, it is time and again a challenge. It is also very hard to plan for, as who knows where one will be five years from now? Especially in the highly volatile conditions of an early career in science in the 21st century (but that’s a whole different story).
And yet, we persist. What also persisted, is this website. So dear to me since the very start of my PhD, I managed to keep going the stories here year after year, despite the waining interest in ‘macroblogs’ in favour of microblog platforms like Twitter. What’s even better: my audience is steady. I saw a continuous increase in visitors throughout my PhD up till 2018, when I defended. Then, as time availability for writing reduced, yet content got perhaps more interesting (I was publishing more papers, for one), the audience has kept popping by.
In one of the first posts I wrote on this blog, I warned the reader that climate and land use change were awakening a sleeping dragon in the Arctic.
It is my job to warn the world for this sleeping dragon.
It is my job to find a way to preserve his night’s rest.
It is my job to predict his next move, so we are not unexpectedly catched by his swirling tail.
I still find that beautiful. And I do believe that 2013-me would be very proud of the job I did since then.
Stay tuned in 2023, for more!