Today my colleague asked me, “are you going to test these sensors on a tree up in the mountains so you can go somewhere out-of-town?” My response was, “Nope, I’m putting them on trees at campus and at my house.” This colleague, an engineer who works in the basement of our building, looked at me like I was missing a grand opportunity. I had to explain more about why I’m psyched to work on city trees before he came around.
This summer, I spent two weeks on a seabird research island as part of my internship with the Northeast Climate Science Center, Five College Coastal & Marine Sciences Program, and Audubon Project Puffin. Project Puffin, based out of Bremen, Maine is a seabird restoration program founded by the National Audubon Society in 1973. Each summer, Project Puffin sends volunteers to seven research islands to monitor nesting seabirds.
While the mountains of the Northeast may not be the tallest nor the most remote compared to others within North America, they contribute just as much to the natural and cultural value of the surrounding landscape as any other. Stretching from the Catskills and Adirondacks of New York to the Greens of Vermont, Whites of New Hampshire, and all the way up to Katahdin in Maine, the mountains of the Northern Forest are a formidable and irreplaceable feature of the Northeastern landscape.
As a climatologist, it’s not often when I get out of the office and away from working with climate data and projections. The closest I normally get to working in the bush are the occasional times I get out to give a tour at a weather station, or do station maintenance. So when I had the opportunity to join some ecologists in Puerto Rico for a day out during their field season, it was quite a treat.