Almost seven months ago to this day, we launched Dispatches from the field. We were quite nervous when we launched this blog – we certainly thought our work was intriguing but would other people really want to hear about it? On the Internet today it is too easy for content to simply get swept under the rug and lost. To our surprise, we were met with more success than we had ever expected. We wanted to take some time this week to give thanks to those who have helped us along the way thus far, and let you know that we are gearing up for 2015, which promises to be a great year filled with fieldwork stories.
We launched the blog at the Queen’s University Biological Station Open House where academics, peers and members of the community were all very supportive and excited about our initiative. We began posting weekly and developed a small, but steady following. Catherine Dale’s post “Of hiking boots and floppy hats” was printed in the Gazette, a small campus newspaper at Queen’s University, and her post “(Mountain) lions, tigers, and bears – oh my!” was featured by Freshly Pressed. Later in 2014 we were approached by Science Borealis, a network of bloggers offering a Canadian perspective, about adding our blog to their feed. We happily agreed to do this, and the opportunity certainly increased the reach of our blog. We were also very excited and humbled to be chosen by Science Borealis as the Editor’s Choice for best “Communication, Education and Outreach” blog of 2014.
We’d also like to thank Malcolm Campbell for featuring us on a couple of occasions in his blog posts, and Chris Buddle for his constant support in sharing our blog posts on Twitter. And of course, a huge thanks to all of you who read our posts, subscribe to our blog, and send us your comments. There is nothing more exciting than seeing other people enjoying what we offer each week. We are very excited to continue posting weekly dispatches throughout 2015, and to see what new opportunities might come our way this year.
Dispatches from the Field is a place where we, and other field scientists, share those experiences that don’t make it into scientific papers. In 2015, we want Dispatches from the Field to continue to serve as an outlet for those stories, allowing us and others to share the rare, quiet lessons we’ve learned from the many landscapes we’ve been privileged to get to know.