Now, if you search on Twitter you can find some really cool ecological field work related posts using tags like #fieldworkfail and #fieldworkwin. Tons of them actually. But they capture the essence of a moment in time. I wanted something that encompassed the essence of the thing you find in field work. This developed from a a week on a the Lower Colorado helping a buddy of mine do some search and recovery of his data loggers after a big rain and flood event in Texas. We found all types of crazy things thrown up on shore from the flood waters. Everything from the ubiquitous plastic water bottle to stoves to fishing poles to old department store mannequins and styrofoam heads to entire kayaks and even a small boat in one particular spot. So while on the water, completely disconnected from the digital world, I thought of the hashtag #fieldworkfind(s). I thought I was so clever, but when we I hit the internet later that week, low and behold it already existed.
Now, to be fair, there are not that many uses of the singular or the plural. And from here I would like to steal it for my own purposes. I define #fieldworkfind to be a hashtag for those unexpected discoveries in the field. Not necessarily actually pertaining to your field of study, but those odd ball finds out in the middle of the woods. I know these things are supposed to develop on their own but, low hanging fruit! For example: while out and about on the river we came across a styrofoam head, half eaten away by flood and boring insects. That bobbing along the water, in the middle of nowhere, is a field work find. More examples: that ’49 Chevy skeleton with the wildflowers growing out of the engine block in the middle of a wilderness area; a license plate in the stomach contents of a shark; or a . Another one of my favorites is the creepy half destroyed doll out where no child should be able to make it, like halfway up a sheer cliff.
So calling all field work finds of the wondrous, creepy, exciting, weird, and just plain out-of-place things we see out there in the hinterlands. Because sometimes science is just plain weird.