It is sad saying goodbye to all of this.
We celebrated with a ‘champagne’ toast in the woods, with our plastic cups nestled against a mossy rock. My parents, brother, fiancé, and one of my best friends came out for the day, and the celebrations lasted well into the night. I think it is rare in life to recognize milestones, or important events, before they happen. The last day of fieldwork for my doctorate is certainly a milestone, and it is special that I was able to recognize it as such.
Not only did I finish field work, but I was able to present some of my original research about the culture of renewable and non-renewable resources in Appalachia at the Ecological Society of America meeting. It was in Baltimore, and my old advisor, Dr. David Inouye, is now president of the society! My presentation went smoothly, people laughed at my jokes (which if you read this blog at all, you know how important that is to me!), and I had some folks come up to me after to tell me that I was working on an interesting project.
Finally, the Alaska research I helped with was accepted and published in Global Change Biology. This is a high impact journal, and I am second author on it. I am happy all of those hours spent collecting/organizing data and running statistical tests paid off academically!