Countdown to fieldwork!

June 25th — My house, Amsterdam I have spent the past two weeks in constant hyper-focus mode, making last minute preparations for fieldwork and wrapping up teaching duties and manuscript writing before departure. It was going to be a close call but we managed to finish building our custom made gas sampling chambers and pack […]

Read More…

Catching the Arctic summer

This post first appeared on lembrechtsjonas.wordpress.com. When summer treats you kindly in the Arctic, there is no better place to be. Summers are short up in the north, however, so you’ll need to be lucky to catch them. We were very lucky this year, and were offered countless beautiful summer days up in the north. […]

Read More…

You’ll never hike alone

This post first appeared on lembrechtsjonas.wordpress.com. It can be quiet lonely out in the mountains: the open vastness of the alpine tundra, the kilometers of rolling mountains in the distance without a soul in sight, or the silence that resonates through the rustling of leaves and the splattering of streams tumbling down a water slide. […]

Read More…

Sleepless in Hyytiälä – Part 3

Logistics and Planning I thought long and hard about what I would want to read if I were reading a research blog. One thing would be to learn about how it felt to be a scientist in another country, and see how the writer dealt with all the difficulties and uncertainties that came with that, […]

Read More…

Sleepless in Hyytiälä, Finland

Desert, Dunes, Forests Sand. I take off my shoes and there’s still some sand falling out of them. It comes from the Dutch Island of Texel, where – just a short week ago – I walked with people and interviewed them about their experience of nature in the dunes. A few months earlier, it was […]

Read More…

Worth it

Just imagine: your commute to your office includes a one hour drive, followed by a six kilometer hike with a 600 meter elevation increase. Two hours of consecutive hiking, if you follow a decent pace. And then your office day still has to start. And after 8 hours you still have to head back. Heavy? […]

Read More…

The roadside effect: visual proof

Mountain roadsides, the most fascinating places on earth. That is, if you believe a PhD-student who has been studying them for more than 5 years now. We returned safely from our fieldwork season in the northern Scandes, with suitcases full of data proving the fascinating role of mountain roads in plant species distributions. Whether they […]

Read More…

That damn snow again

During last year’s field trip to Sweden, at the very end of August, an early autumn snowstorm threw us of the mountain. You can (re)read the account of that humbling hike here. We were beaten. Defeated. Nature’s powers were too strong. We managed to hike up, yes, but trying to identify plants under a growing pile […]

Read More…

What is hiding in mountain roadsides?

5 years later, we are getting ready for a re-survey of our longterm observational plots along the roads in the Norwegian mountains. The perfect moment to summarize for a second what we learned from our first trip. Mountains are increasingly important islands of pristine nature in our rapidly changing world. They contain some of the most […]

Read More…

5 years later

Summer 2012. I was a young masters student, spending my first month of many above the polar circle. I joined a global consortium called MIREN, the Mountain Invasion Research Network, that surveyed plant invasions along roads in mountain regions scattered across the globe. With 3 roads in the north of Norway, close to Narvik, we […]

Read More…