Field of Science

Tropical biology dreaming

It's a Monday, the first day of the semester, and the coldest day of the year, a near triple convergence to generate depression. Actually the coldest day of the year is predicted for a bit later this week (a low of -13F). Damn that cheap imported Canadian weather. Still the winter weather depresses me almost as much as politics here in Lincolnland.

Although I often look forwad to the beginning of new semesters, I loath the reports and other paper work that entails. Where's my personal assistant, and why haven't they taken care of all this crap? I don't mind the students, or teaching my classes (although my dislike of exams grows with each year), but why so I have to do it in Lincolnland? After all where should a tropical biologist be but in the tropics?

So I'll post a picture of where I want to be this semester, and I'm willing to bet that my students, if price were not an object, would join me there to a person. So here it is, a pictoral tribute to tropical biology. This particular location is Mission Beach in far northern Queensland. Although beautiful, the tropics are not completely idyllic. There are a few things you should know about this location. One, salt-water crocs have been known to walk right down the beach, and to them, you are prey. Two, seasonally the box jelly fish migrates out of the mangroves and float around in this still tropical water inside the Great Barrier Reef. Getting stung by a box jelly is not a life experience anyone recommends. Still you can get yourself a Castlemain XXXX Bitter ale and sit in the shade of the coconut palms lining the high water mark and think great thoughts about the tropical biology. If you walk a little ways you can see parasol palms and even cassowary if you are lucky and quiet.
So why can't I take my class on a field trip? After all we have students who travel far and wide to hit, kick, carry, or throw a ball, yet no resources exist for similarly educating biology students. Hmm, that's another depressing thought. Better stop while I'm ahead.

1 comment:

Larissa said...

if you took your students to mission beach I'd consider getting a third bachelor's degree in Biology.