25 March 2006

Into the field

I've been trapped in the lab for the last few months, but that's about to change. I'm heading out into the field tomorrow morning, on a short trip to the Death Valley, California area.

The fieldwork I'm going to be doing isn't really related to my own research, but I'll take what I can get. Actually, it will be nice, because I'm going to be getting back to my roots. Back when I was first getting into science, I started out intending to be a paleontologist. Evolution interested me, and I was very interested in broad-scale, macroevolutionary events. But somewhere along the way I was seduced by the Dark Side, and was overcome by the lure of molecular techniques.

This week, I get to be a paleontologist again. A group of six grad students and two professors at UH, including myself, are working on a review paper. The topic of the review is the origins of animal life, and we thought it would be a good idea to get to get more familiar with the field. We're heading to Death Valley because it's a site that has some nice places to see the evidence for Precambrian animal life.

We'll be staying just south of the National Park, in a little town with a population of about 80. I've got a hunch that internet access will be a little hard to come by, so I probably won't be able to post too much before I get back on Thursday.
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