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Thursday, September 15, 2011

A justification - if I may

Yes. That's me. Photo courtesy of Alain Carpentier of MICS.
Just a little something for those of you who puzzle and despair at my general unkemptness (thanks Siri!) :)

Field biologists contribute to the culture and reputation of their chosen profession by…staying alive. A biologists’ appearance ideally has absolutely zero relationship to a favorable impression with funders, but, when a relationship does exist, it is often an inverse relationship with neatness. Good grooming and appropriate dress should be exercised to the extent that such concerns will help one …stay alive. A field biologists’ attire should help them achieve the dual goals of: 1. staying alive, and 2. staying in the field for as long as possible to collect the very last data point. This is also seen as ‘cool’. Luckily.

Managers, usually not present in the field, merely note the end result of a field biologists’ attire with binary code. 0 = field researcher not alive. 1= field researcher alive.

Field biologists, when presented with special occasions not celebrated in the field, may take the opportunity to practice using the grooming tool known as a comb, and those of the feminine persuasion might attempt to don eye-enhancing make-up, though it is not advised for fear of injuring dearly needed ocular observation tools.

Acceptable shirts: quick-dry, wool, polyester, layers, occasionally plaid flannel, neoprene

Inappropriate shirts: Anything new. Anything without holes. Anything Abercrombie.

Acceptable pants: Quick-dry. Anything old.

Inappropriate pants: Anything new. Diesel.

Acceptable footwear: Anything with a tread. Flip-flops (slippahs) in warm weather.

Inappropriate footwear: Anything with a heel narrower than 3 inches. Anything new. Anything that could be called “kicks”

Acceptable eyewear: Polarized sunglasses. With a strap.

Inappropriate eyewear: Un-polarized sunglasses without a strap.

Acceptable bag: Back-pack. Duffle bag.

Inappropriate bag: Anything new. Anything with only one strap. Unless the 1 of the 2 already broke off. That’s okay.

Acceptable hairstyle: Beard for men. Ponytail for women. Variation is accepted so long as biologist’s hair can be kept easily out of biologist’s eyes so that they can see the bear/shark/rabid penguin and …stay alive.

Inappropriate hairstyle: Anything in style.

Acceptable jacket: Gortex. Arcteryx, Marmot, Northface, Patagonia, Sierra Designs, Montbell, Mountain Hardware, Mammut, Columbia, Lowe Alpine, REI, EMS, Helly Hansen. (Eddie Bauer or LL Bean might be acceptable if: waterproof, windproof, and …not new).

Inappropriate jacket: Leather. Fur. Anything new.

A field biologist’s attire should incite one of the following acceptable emotions:
…with any luck the field biologist will fade into the background and you will not even know he or she is there, unless they happen to have wandered unwittingly into an area densely inhabited by humans, in which case, the emotions generally incited by their attire are, and in this order: disgust, amusement, wonder, amusement, disgust, boredom, acceptance.

It is advised not to approach a field biologist in this threatening setting as he or she may be prone to agitation, fear, anxiety or angry outbursts. Simply walk the other way and give him or her the space needed to fade back into the bushes. In extreme circumstance a field biologist may be approached so long as you speak in a quiet voice and offer beer (or wine and chocolate!)

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