Sad to Leave

Sunday Dec. 14

This year’s fieldwork in Chile is officially complete! While I’m sad to leave behind such a beautiful and geologically unique place, I’ll go back to Iowa tomorrow having learned a lot during two weeks of this very successful field season. The work I participated in is unlike any fieldwork I’ve done before, so it has been excellent practice and experience for me. Working with new scientists and professors has allowed me to observe their methods, and that has helped me learn a lot about working in a team, and the importance of being organized and having a plan, as well as being flexible with that plan.

Prior to arriving in Chile I read several papers about the work that had been done at the site. One of the more interesting things about this experience has been the chance to put what I read into context and actually see the things these geologists were talking about. I can see how one geologist might interpret samples from Monturaqui differently from another. It makes the fieldwork and the lab work more exciting to know we might have evidence to support ideas that have not been discussed yet in the literature, about this place that has been studied so little.

On a non-geological note, I learned that I can still speak a little Spanish, which will be useful if I come back to South America to do fieldwork in the future, and I hope to! Talking to Juan about the sites in Bolivia has made me want to visit that country as well, and there is so much to see and study in Chile that I’m already looking forward to new geological adventures that will lead me back here.