I spent a little over five weeks in the field with Mike Loranty, but it feels like we left just last week. Time really does fly when you are having fun. Our days were packed with field work, lab work, good food, great conversations with incredible scientists, and creating new friendships through shared life experiences.
Every day in Cherskiy we would share a big meal prepared by our wonderful cook, Lena, but the last night was special. Not because four of us were leaving the station the next day, but because it marked the birthdays of Sergey Zimov, who runs the Northeast Science Station (NESS), Sue Natali, one of the lead researchers from Woods Hole Research Center, and Mike Loranty. Lena and the Zimovs outdid themselves serving grilled sturgeon, caviar, and three different type of cakes for the birthday crew. The night was filled with laughter, good food, and music from more than one of the guests. Leaving the NESS was difficult for me because I had developed friendships with the people I worked with everyday. The Zimov’s treated us like we were part of the family in Russia, which made leaving bittersweet.
Working in the field gave me a strong appreciation for the science I teach my students, however, and now that I’m back I am eager to share this experience with the students and staff of Cheektowaga Central Middle School in the upcoming school year.
I’ll wrap up this post with some pictures of our last night at the NESS.
Final Dinner at the Northeast Science Station