Field research is awesome. It doesn’t matter if your paid or voluntary, what matters is you are outside from dusk to dawn in all weather learning about the natural world, whatever information you are aiming to collect you are bound to learn much much more. Its not an average job you have to be independent and fit enough to walk for long hours often with your own company but if you can handle it, do it.
Top 10 tips
- Be prepared to look a bit strange and talk to yourself (especially in a stupid hat applied mainly to butterfly assistant plus wearing trousers when its hot because of long grass and ticks. My advice is don’t rap or sing because you may come face to face with a family having a picnic and its quite embarrassing.)
- Get binoculars because they are cool
- Field guides are essential. Learn to use them don’t just check the photo make sure you read the details about timings, colour variation, differences between males and females.
- Moths are cool and get a bad press.Don’t let them get eaten after finding them in your moth trap.Keep and eye out for predators (ROBINS) whilst they are warming up.
- Learn to catch and handle all types of creature from butterflies to birds. Handle with care.
- Always take a camera with you. Your likely to be in some beautiful places and you might as well capture the moment when you spot something cool.
- Learn to use a GIS and take spare batteries too, obviously!
- Learn to love your clipboard its your reason for living at the end of the day when you write up your data onto a database that information is vital. (always carry plenty of pens and pencils)
- Tell people what you have done and why its a great job to do.
- Finally enjoy it, working in beautiful places like this one. Not many people can say this is my office!