Working close to home has many perks. For example, generally I can look at a weather forecast and pick the nicest days to head out to my sites. Generally I don't have to go out into the field during a down pour or a 100+ degree day. Not that I don't spend time in the field during crappy weather, but for my Long Island sites, I can usually avoid it. Another benefit is that I can go out to my sites just to satisfy my curiosity about field methods that pop into my head while I'm looking at my data. "I wonder if fruit count on these plants markedly differs in July versus August versus September?" Well, I can just head out and look at my plants.
|Counting fruit in July|
For me, and for many others too, being successful at grad school requires good time management. Field work always requires time management, but having my field sites so nearby requires me to treat field visits like any other day-to-day task I have. I often talk about my 'field season' as though it's a discreet period of time, but in reality, it's really a portion of the year during which I shuffle in a few more tasks into my daily life.
Update: Since I wrote this short post, another researcher has also written a great piece on doing local field work. I figured I'd link to it here: