Tales from the Field

As told by Jennifer R. Smith

The less celebrated roles of dissertation advisers, such as teaching you to drive stick and to rope cattle.

How I learned to drive stick.

First near-death experience. I encounter killer bees while walking transects in Belize.

Why I now work exclusively in arid environments.

What happens if you leave the lights on when you park in the desert.

What’s the Arabic for “jumper cable”?

What happens if you run out of Sudanese pounds before you reach the airport.

OK, that didn’t work, what next?

Second near-death experience. Falling in a rushing stream on Axel Heiberg Island, about 80 degrees north latitude.

The rule of thumb.

The Arctic wolf is less of a hazard than the Arctic stream. The Arctic hare, on the other hand, has its moments.

Who brought the dog?


When all else fails, drink tea.

The importance of drinking tea.


What to say when everything hinges on the right answers.

The importance of speaking truth.

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