Monkey Forest Tales: Fieldwork challenges and how to maintain you mind flexible when trouble happens

First, we apologies for posting this a bit later than usual, but as it is mentioned in the title fieldwork have some challenges and Zocay Project has not exceptions on this even after almost 19 years of visiting the same forest fragments and farms.
Depending on the focus of your fieldwork there are different challenges that comes with sampling in the field. When I started, those challenges include travelling to far remote areas, something that now is easier because Zocay Project study area is close to a town and public transport to that town runs daily, several times a day, which is a huge advantage when your presence is need it urgently. But what kind of things would require that you need to travel urgently to your field site…
Well, when your samplings require to put traps, like camera traps and the study site has flooded areas. This will mean that when rainy season start some streams, lagoons and swamp areas could be flooded in a matter of hours. These situations are common in Orinoquia and Amazon areas where certain areas of the forest are highly influenced by water level rises, that goes from a few centimeters to up to several meters (Amazon forests).
Other challenges include time to accommodate fieldwork and the rest of your job/ personal life. Although having a field site close to your home base can help, you also need flexibility in your job hours to be able to make quick trips to the field in case something happens or when that is not possible to be able to delegate those field activities to people you can trust to make the work in the same way you will do it. It is not always easy to delegate activities, especially if those activities can have a huge impact on the data you are collecting.
In science, we usually work with schedules and most of our field trips usually are planned ahead, however we cannot control weather and sometimes rains start before usual times and you need to be flexible to adjust to those climate patterns, especially now that rainy patterns are changing so much in unpredictable ways.
Other challenges include equipment damage because of humidity conditions on the field site or faulty equipment. Humidity is a big problem for most of the equipment we use and sometimes even if we carefully choose the brands and take care of equipment as much as possible, still can get wet inside. Therefore, is always useful to take some silica gel to put wet equipment inside a hermetic box or when you have difficulties to get it, some rice will also works to extract humidity, from cameras, GPS, binoculars and camera traps. It is also wise to check your equipment before going to the field to avoid taking faulty equipment to field sites.
However, even when you plan, check your equipment before going to the field or when you can delegate, it is sometimes difficult to face some of those challenges and it is up to us to maintain a flexible mind to face those challenges to do our sampling, even when it seems we don-t have the skills and tools to solve it.
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