Life as a Biologist

Here are a few things in no particular order of “what biologists do”:

1.     Wake up at 4 or 5 am everyday (this is mainly a timeline for ornithologists).
2.     Drink lots of coffee- I do not drink coffee (this is a rare quality in biologists I have found) therefore I drown myself in Lipton or Emergencee in the mornings.
3.     Pack lots of snacks and eat highly caloric energy bars- Cliff, Luna, Nature’s Valley- usually supplemented with nuts/fruit to get us through the mornings.
4.     Eat HUGE portions- at night everyone has a full plate that is completely clean by the end of the meal.
5.     Don’t use sponges- they find them creepy and would rather use dishrags for the dishes, sink, counters…I find this kind of creepy as well?
6.     Don’t use hot water- unless absolutely necessary- well ok, here we have none.
7.     Compost. Secretly. Our landlord doesn’t know about the compost pile we have created under a tree in our backyard; only his chickens do.
8.     Throw out our TP in the trashcan (ok so I think this is a general rule in Puerto Rico, not something that all biologists do, but I have seen it before on the Farallones- trashcan full of poopy toilet paper-gross).
9.     Wash out and re-use Ziploc baggies.
10.  Say we drink lots of water, but somehow we still don’t drink enough.
11. Make stuff- bird cages, bird traps, fixing a barwire fence, fixing the car- building planks to make the car get out of the mud faster etc.
12. Geek out over anything alive- lizards, frogs, birds, trees, crabs (the Hermit crabs are so precious here), cattle, stray dogs/cats- pretty much if it’s moving it’s cool.
13. Drive standard. Ok not a rule here but a lot of biologists do- 3 out of the 5 of us here do and 1 doesn’t have a license so decent odds?
14. Go to the bathroom outside. And I mean GO to the bathroom. I went 2 seasons without truly going outside and now that I am in PR it has happened. Yeah you know what I mean.
15. Drink. Well ok this is a milder crowd but I know that biologists can usually put down a few drinks, especially if its beer. What else is there to do?
16. Read, we read a lot. I’m almost done with my second book in two weeks!
a.     I highly recommend The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks- intriguing human-interest story tied to the history of cell culture in the U.S. and across the world.  Ever heard of HeLa cells? That’s Henrietta Lacks folks.
17. Make every dinner gluten and vegan free- what the hell am I supposed to do with that???- recipe suggestions welcome!!  (email me or post them on my blog)
a.     Eat nutritional yeast- this isn’t even “crunchy granola” anymore this is some mainstream biologist crack!

8. Love what we do- even though it can be a pain in the ass trekking through the wet grass, mud, spiders, fire ants, mosquitoes and thorny trees, ultimately we have to enjoy what we do because otherwise we would go insane. I don’t know if “normal” people could understand or handle this lifestyle I don’t know if I can even; but I do know that I am adjusting and doing what I like, so that’s got to be a good start-eh?

ALCOHOL- check 

Pictures of anything that has wildlife on it- including buildings

Wet feet. Stinky feet. 

This awesome shirt

This super neat photo, thumbs up dude!

SO MUCH FOOD. The hunger is insatiable!

He feels it too- feed meeee

Trying to snap pics of wildlife on the streets

Our babies!

More wildlife- duh!

Try to drive through a little mud pit… NOPE

Field selfies, all day erryday

Pics of each other in our sweet military trucks we get to use when ours breaks down

Oh yeah. 

Checking out the damage after the day

Selfies with the birds…looking like a crazy bird lady

Entertaining ourselves

Naps with the birds

SUGARY TREATS! it was so worth the $2.50

Chillin with the birds

Delicious and I mean DELICIOUS food (this was our thanksgiving meal- yes all vegan/gluten free)

Loving all animals, even the mangiest ones

Sugary treats!!! specialty- never had a worse stomach ache (well ok that's probably not true) 

Awesome selfies continue. Seriously, how cool am I?

Random bruises, like where do these come from?

Being in precarious situations, risking your life, all in the name of science (32+ feet in the air here)

Cooking dinner with/for friends 

Measurements, lots of measurements

Picking up any critters 

Taking pics of our favorite critters

Awesome birding skills


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