When I started this summer, I treated gathering my data as the end goal. Like the “X” marking the treasure on a map, I assumed that if I could just get all the data - collect all the samples, measure all the ring widths, cross-date all the trees - that everything else would fall into place.
Do you want to build a forest? Well, I'm here to give you the recipe in 8 simple steps. It will require a lot of ecological succession, or change over time. We'll start with a disaster. Perhaps a fiery tornado has torn through the land and nothing remains, or maybe you want a forest on a lava flow. The first step is to allow primary successors to colonize the land. These are the things that can live on seemingly nothing, think lichen. Then perennials will move in, annuals, small trees, and soon enough you'll have a forest!
My love for science and ecology, specifically, is not a passion many other people have. I go to a school where being an engineer is glorified and studying buisness is seen as prestigious. When people say they are studying engineering or business, to someone they know or to a complete random stranger, they are instantly impressed and praise them. It is always the typical “Good for you!” or “Wow, that must be really hard, you must be very smart”. I am studying environmental science.