Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Prologue to an Adventure

After several months of preparation, including securing a leave of absence and buying weird stuff like a venom extractor kit, I leave for San Jose, Costa Rica for a two month course in tropical biology.

My primary research interest at OTS will be that of field research itself. If you know me, you already know this: I have made it my professional mission to bring better technology to bear on conservation, to dramatically improve efficiency and effectiveness, and thereby enable more informed and mindful decisions concerning nature. My objective in attending this OTS course, then, is to inform in myself a visceral sense of field research, especially concerning conservation biology.

So I plan to fully embrace the field projects and learn any and all harsh realities of study formulation, data collection, analysis and conclusions both from direct experience and in partnership with my fellow students, all with an eye towards technology opportunities. I'll be paying special attention to themes in data models and analysis. I also hope to interview students, (instructors!) and resident researchers about institutional, social and financial barriers to sharing field research data.

DCA Airport minutes before my flight takes off

So I embark on this journey as a furthering in the direction of science so that when I turn my eye back towards technology, I’ll know a bit more of which I speak. That said, who knows, perhaps I’ll decide technology is for the birds and my calling has shifted. Hey, I’m pretty open right now!