Plans Change, Goals Stay the Same

“If the plan doesn’t work, change the plan, but never the goal.” This quote by an unknown author perfectly exemplifies what our young team of undergraduate researchers had to do to make sure this field research season becomes the success that we all want it to be. There have been many unforeseen challenges that our team has had to work through already this season. As most scientists can attest too, science is rarely easy, and there are always going to be challenges that have to be overcome to get the results you are searching for. Our young team is no exception to this.

Over our first two weeks out in the field, we have had the misfortune of one of our ATV’s break down. (For those of you know about our social media efforts, this is a different ATV then the one we were already trying to replace making our total number of broken ATV’s two) Our team showed their resilience by overcoming the problem and finding ways to get back out in the field for our research. With the help of Ducks Unlimited, we were able to use some older ATV’s they own to continue our work.

The team’s second problem proved to be a lot more challenging to overcome. One of our team’s crew lead Melissa went down with a severely sprained ankle last Tuesday after she fell in a hole that she was unable to see in dense vegetation. She showed her passion for her work by working through the pain to finish that day’s nest dragging. After going to the hospital, the doctor informed her she would need two-six weeks of no work to heal her ankle. With Melissa unable to work in the field, our new interns Mason Hammer and Grant Kapaun had to learn the job fast and take care of all of the nest dragging research on the Coteau Ranch. Unfortunately, this left crew lead Allicyn Nelson without help on the other field site known as the Davis Ranch which is owned by The Nature Conservancy. Communications researcher Collin Riley had to step up and learn how to do the nest dragging biology research fast to help Allicyn successfully do research on the other ranch.

Our team showed resilience and passion for their work to overcome so many obstacles in only a short period. We are hoping that this team can keep working this hard and work through the adversity they face. Through everything our team has already prevailed through, there shouldn’t be any doubt in anyone’s mind that our goals will be accomplished.

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